We have starting team news as Belgium meet Russia in this Group H clash. Belgium are seen as dark horses in this tournament and come up against a Fabio Capello managed Russia them. Kick-off from Estádio Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro is at 5.00.
Belgium got their campaign off to a expected win against a Algeria team that proved difficult to break down. Sofiane Feghouli scored from the penalty spot before Marouane Fellaini equalized with a header in the 70th minute after coming of the bench. Fellow substitute Dries Mertens scored the winner in the 80th minute. Russia drew their opener against South Korea in what was a disappointing result for Fabio Capello’s.Lee Keunho put the Koreans 1-0 up before veteran striker Alexander Kerzhakov scored an important equalizer.
The Chelsea man is a key performer for Marc Wilmot’s side. Hazard has been criticized in the past for not showing his club form for Belgium but Wilmot’s is beginning to get the best out of the playmaker. Hazard has only 6 goals at International level but he did score in a recent friendly win against Sweden. His creative talents will be crucial to provide Romelu Lukaku with the service to score the goals in this Belgium team. Hazard is likely to be utilized on the left in a three behind main striker Lukaku. The 23 year old could be one of the young stars to light up this World Cup. Hazard will hope to be more influential against this Russian side and the Chelsea man is on form they should have too much pace and quality for this Russian defence.
The 23 year old is seen as the next big thing in Russian football and he will be the main goal scoring threat upfront for Capello’s side. The Dynamo Moscow striker scored 4 goals in qualifying and has established himself as one of the best strikers in the Russian top flight scoring 10 goals in 22 appearances. Russia are a strong team that is defensive and Kokorin will be their main outlet in attack. Kokorin will hope for more chances against a Belgium defence that looked shaky at times especially Spurs defender Jan Vertonghan
Belgium may opt to start substitutes Dries Mertens and Fellaini. They started the following team the last day.They are expected to keep their 4-2-3-1 formation.
Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Van Buyten, Kompany, Vermaelen, Witsel, Fellaini, De Bruyne, Mertens, Hazard, Lukaku
Russia may start with Alan Dzageov in one midfield change. They lined out as follows . They are expected to line out in a 4-2-3-1 formation
Russia: Akinfeev, Kozlov, Ignashevich, Kanunnikov, Glushakov, Kokorin, Berezutskiy (c), Shatov, Samedov, Fayzulin, Kombarov
Russia will likely sit back and Belgium will be hoping for a better performance from their high profile players they may opt to make a few changes. Russia will hope to be more fluent in attack but I think Belgium will have more quality and will eventually break Capello’s side down possibly on a 2-0 score line. Belgium to win with a clean sheet is 2/1 with boylesports in what is a standout bet.