Belgium v Russia betting tips: Familiar foes for Red Devils
Belgium’s star-studded squad, ranked number one in the world, are third favourites to win Euro 2020 at 13/2.
The Red Devils’ golden generation suffered disappointment at their last two major tournaments, finishing third at the 2018 World Cup after losing to Wales in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, and are 8/11 to get their campaign off to a flyer.
Russia will be looking to take inspiration from three years ago, when they used home advantage to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.
The two teams met in qualifying for Euro 2020 , so let’s examine some of the odds in our Belgium v Russia betting tips.
Roberto Martinez has a plethora of stars at his disposal, including Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, but the squad have not always lived up to expectations at major tournaments.
Belgium had no such problems qualifying though, winning all 10 matches with 40 goals scored and only three conceded, including two convincing wins over Russia.
The Red Devils started with a 3-1 home triumph and also won 4-1 at St Petersburg Stadium, the venue for the Euro 2020 clash, in the return fixture.
The opening match for any side at a tournament is usually a tight affair with neither wanting to lose, but with nine goals in the two qualifiers between the sides, both teams to score is 10/11 and over 2.5 goals is 10/11.
Belgium scored first in nine of their 10 qualifiers and had leads at the interval in both fixtures against Russia, who conceded six of eight goals in the first 45 minutes, with the Red Devils to be leading at half-time and full-time 31/20.
Russia, winners of the Euros in 1960 when competing as the Soviet Union, will hope their home fans can inspire them again after beating the likes of Egypt and Spain en route to the last eight of the World Cup in 2018.
As the lowest-ranked side in that World Cup, Russia raised expectations with their performances, but they have exited the last two European Championships at the group stage.
They will need to start the game well and defend better to keep Belgium at bay, having conceded inside 20 minutes in both qualifiers, especially with the attacking options at Martinez’s disposal.
De Bruyne led Manchester City to the Premier League title and Champions League final, but a fractured nose and eye socket which required a small operation means he will miss Belgium’s opening game.
Lukaku fired Inter Milan to the Scudetto in Serie A, while Hazard is working his way back to fitness after an injury-plagued season at Real Madrid.
Once Belgium break the deadlock they have the players to kill teams off quickly, like Russia found out, and they are 4/1 to win both halves.
Lukaku is in the form of his life after leading Inter to the title in Italy with 24 goals and he is 14/5 to get the ball rolling or 7/5 to score.
The 28-year-old striker is Belgium’s record hitman with 59, netting seven of those during qualifying, and he is likely be the favourite to open the scoring against Russia.
Russia forward Artem Dzyuba finished top of the charts in qualifying, beating Lukaku by two goals, and is 9/2 to open the scoring or 23/10 in the any-time market.
Where: St Petersburg Stadium
When: 20:00, Saturday 12th June
How to watch: ITV
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication