2014 FIFA World Cup: Russia vs Belgium 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 -105 See the Latest Odds
Belgium and Russia square off in Brazil on Sunday in a pivotal Group H show down between the two favourites expected to advance to the knockout stage.
Belgium have been labelled the dark horse team to watch out for in this year’s World Cup as they seem to have flown under the radar in getting to this spot but now it seems more of a case of they’re so underrated that they’re overrated. Belgium are certainly an up and coming team and could very well storm their way into the round of 16 but they are certainly a ways off of being considered one of Europe’s best teams let alone one of the world’s best. Belgium clawed their way back against Algeria in their tournament opener and scored two very nice goals in the process but they did concede the first goal and in my opinion they were lucky to salvage the victory as I was fully expecting a draw. Belgium have the odds makers on their side in this one as they’re value is in the negatives at the moment and while that could change before kick off I think there is heavy interest in the Europeans here against a Russian side that felt they deserved better in the tournament opener.
USA TODAY Sports
Russia are often considered one of the better teams in the European qualifying stage but have fallen short of expectation on the international stage in recent memory and their tournament opener didn’t help their cause much. The Russians held the majority of play in their tournament opener against South Korea but couldn’t get their offensive chemistry together despite ample opportunity to take the match and put themselves in the driver’s seat in the group. Russia conceded just one goal in their draw with Korea but it came in lackluster fashion as an own goal that was dropped in by the Russian goalkeeper changed the outcome of the game and forced Russia to play a more uptempo game just to grab a point. I expect a much better effort from Russia in this contest and to me they’re the best team in this group but Belgium aren’t far behind and as such I think we see a tightly contested match and I think we see a draw coming here.