Belgium vs Russia: Mertens is the man for a Red Devils goal
Belgium and Russia both underwhelmed in their respective World Cup openers, though we are backing the Red Devils to extend Fabio Capello’s hellish record as a manager at the finals.
Marc Wilmots’ side can be backed at 19/20 to win, with Russia on at 3/1 for victory with the draw priced at 12/5. But while those odds may tempt, we have a tasty trio of tips for the upcoming encounter.
The Red Devils may have made hard work of Algeria last time out but the reality is that the Fennec Foxes didn’t look likely to score against Belgium until Jan Vertonghen’s mad moment in the penalty area.
Provided Marc Wilmots team can play with more composure, a victory looks likely. Russia don’t concede a lot of goals but Belgium did beat them 2-0 in a previous friendly. Hedge your bets and back a 1-0 or 2-0 win.
With Eden Hazard an injury concern and Romelu Lukaku yet to hit top form, the likes of Dries Mertens will be expected to step up to the plate against Russia, following a good debut season in Serie A with Napoli.
The wide attacking player is in good form for his country though and heads into this encounter aiming for a third goal in three games for Belgium following his late winner against Algeria.
Fabio Capello has already expressed concerns over the fitness levels of his Russia squad and while his team did get on the scoresheet in the second period against Korea Republic, they could find it tough going against a well-drilled Belgium team.
Fail to find the net early in the half and as Russia fade, the prospects of Belgium ‘winning’ the second half to nil looks a good bet to back, with the Red Devils keen to wrap up qualification.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £100 in free bets.