2014 FIFA World Cup: Belgium vs. Russia Pick, Odds, Prediction - 6/22/14
Russia (0-0-1) vs. Belgium (1-0)
World Cup: Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Brazil)
The Line: Belgium +100 See the Latest Odds
Belgium and Russia will take the field Sunday to play an important World Cup match that will help determine who makes it out of group H.
Belgium started its World Cup journey with a 2-1 victory over Algeria, despite getting off to a slow start. Some would praise Belgium’s great defense, as they had the ball for 65 percent of the match and held Algeria to just three shots. However, the only shot on goal for Algeria went into the back of the net, which isn’t a terrific sign moving forward. After the match, Eden Hazard, who was called the best young football player in the world by his coach, had an assist in the victory. Vincent Kompany’s status in this match is questionable as he suffered a groin injury.
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Russia needs this win more than anything, as they settled for a draw against South Korea. Despite having the ball only 48 percent of the match, Russia outshot South Korea 16-10 and had 10 of those 16 shots on goal. The downside of Russia’s performance is that they lacked energy for much of the game, didn’t live up to expectations and goalie Igor Akinfeev gave up an embarrassing goal that slipped through his hands. Still, Russia has to be pleased with its offensive aggressiveness in the match, as they got plenty of shots off. Look for Aleksandr Kokorin to have a big game for Russia to win this match.
This is going to be a competitive matchup, but I’m not sure Russia has what it takes to beat a well-rounded Belgium team. I expect Belgium to come out of the gate with more energy and play a much better first half than it did in its opening game.
While Russia is the more desperate team, Belgium should get the victory early in the second half and hold on for the three points.