Australia vs. Belgium
|Date & Time||Thursday September 4, 2014, 2:10 PM (EDT)|
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Belgium and Australia will play an international friendly match on Thursday at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne.
Belgium had incredible success in the 2014 World Cup, making it all the way to the quarterfinals before losing to Argentina. It may not have completely fulfilled expectations for some, but considering the youth on the Belgium roster, it was a success and something to build on moving forward. The experience to players such as Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku is only going to make Belgium a much stronger team in the years to come. However, neither one of those players will be in action in this match. Marc Wilmots admitted that he still wants to win this match, but Belgium will be extremely short handed without its star players. It’ll be interesting to see how some of the younger players step up in their absence.
Australia was eliminated in the group stages after losing all three matches in group of death, but that was pretty much expected. Now, Australia will use these friendly matches to help them prepare for the Asia Cup in January, which will take place in Australia. The Australians are still led by Tim Cahill, who at 34 years old, still believes he has enough left in the tank to play in the 2018 World Cup. Australia should get a spark with the return of Robbie Kruse, who was held out of the World Cup with a knee injury. Overall, this is a big match for the Australians, as Jason Davidson has made note that his team must start building some momentum heading into next year. A win here would be a great start.
There’s no question that Belgium is the more talented team and should win this match if they take it seriously. However, this is a more important match for Australia given the circumstances, and it helps that Belgium is undermanned with a couple of injuries.
I wouldn’t take Australia to win SU, but I do like the points we’re getting for the cheap price.