Belgium is hosting Russia in round 1 of Euro Cup qualifications.
Belgium is ranked as number 1 national team in the world in FIFA standings at the moment and have ended up third in last years World Cup in Russia by beating England 2-0. Belgium has a great team chemistry with some of the world’s best players like Hazard, Lukaku and De Bruyne who is unfortunately injured and will not be playing in this campaign. In their last game against Switzerland in Nations League Belgium had only 45% ball possession and lost this game 5-2 despite having their best players on the field. Belgium has one of the best game styles in Europe with lots of passing and fast plays through their wingers and are playing constantly with high pressure when not in possession of the ball which makes really hard for their opponents to keep possession. Eden Hazard is Belgium’s captain and best player but at the moment he is not playing in good form and coach Martinez will need to do something to get him ready for these qualification games.
Russia has done really well in last years World Cup in their homeland and reached quarterfinals where they got knocked out by Croatia in penalty shootout. Russia is ranked 50thin FIFA standings at the moment but that position does not reflect Russia’s true potential because their team and game style are better then some teams that are higher in the standings. In their last away game against Sweden, Russia played one of their worst games in some time with only 39% ball possession and only 3 shot on goal and ended up loosing this game 2-0 which cost them first place in their group in Nations League. Cheryshev, Golovin and Dzuyba are Russia’s best players and all three of them are healthy so coach Cherchesov is expected to start with his strongest lineup and try to bounce back from that unfortunate loss against Sweden from a few months back.
These two teams played 4 times before and Belgium won 3 and latest one ended up in a draw back in 2017. Belgium has better team despite having problems with injuries and because Belgium is playing at home I think they will bounce back from latest loss with a win here.