Belgium and Russia are clashing at Gazprom Arena in round 1 of Group B in the Euro Cup 2021. Belgium is one of the favorites to win this competition, and they haven’t lost any of their last 9 games. Russia has been playing solid soccer, but they are inconsistent, and they have only 3 wins in their last 11 games.
Belgium is an outstanding team with a lot of quality and depth, especially in the attacking end. Belgium has played 2 friendly games in the last week, and they have won one while one ended in a draw. In their last game, Belgium was hosting Croatia, and they were solid with 53% of ball possession, 4 shots on goal, and 10 corner kicks. Belgium has had some good chances, but they were able to use only 1. The final score of this match was 1-0. Lukaku is playing in fantastic form, Hazard is playing better with each game, Mertens was one of Napoli’s best players, while De Bruyne, even though he will not be playing in this game, will most certainly be one of the best players in this tournament. Belgium tends to make mistakes on the defensive end, but they are good enough offensively to compensate for that, and in my mind, Belgium is the biggest favorite to win this competition because they are playing the best soccer in Europe.
Russia has gotten pretty far in the last World Cup, but it was only because they were the home team. Russia’s form has been improving lately, and they haven’t lost in their last 2 games, but Russia has also scored only 2 goals during this stretch, and that is a problem ahead of a big competition like this. In their last game against Bulgaria at home, Russia was the better team with 54% of ball possession, 5 shots on goal, and 9 corner kicks, and the only goal there scored was from the penalty spot in the 84th minute. Russia has won this match 1-0. In the Euro Cup qualifications, Russia was actually in a group with Belgium, and they ended behind them, in second place. Russia’s roster is solid with Dzyuba, Golovin, Miranchuk, and Cheryshev, but they are incredibly thin on the defensive end, and in a group with Belgium and Denmark, that is a problem. It’s not an easy group for Russia, but I think they can definitely be one of the best third-placed teams that will advance to the next stage.
Of the 6 games these two teams have played against each other, Belgium has won 5, while one game ended in a draw. Belgium is the better team here, and despite Russia playing at home, I can’t imagine they will be much competition here. Belgium is better in every aspect of the game, and I see them getting their first win in the tournament here.