BELGIUM are fancied to go all the way in Euro 2020 – but they face a tough opening assignment against Russia.
Roberto Martinez‘s exciting side take on the World Cup 2018 hosts, who once again have home advantage in St Petersburg.
Settle down with your Saturday night takeaway and get ready to watch the Red Devils in action on ITV1 at 8pm.
What’s the form?
There’s a good reason that many people are tipping Belgium to go all the way this summer.
Under Martinez they’ve developed into a well-oiled machine and were a perfect ten from ten in qualifying, netting 40 GOALS.
Russia have it all to do then, especially as they come into the tournament with just three wins in 11 games.
This game being in St Petersburg is a huge plus for the Russians though, who showed at the World Cup how they can lift their game in front of home fans.
Who’s in and who’s out?
Martinez has selected just five defenders in his 26-man squad, instead looking to unleash the frightening attacking talent at his disposal.
Kevin De Bruyne should be fit after this game despite undergoing facial surgery less than a fortnight ago, while Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Yannick Carrasco are all raring to go.
It will be the most emotional tournament ever. I think it can become a celebration. It can set a before and after for this Covid nightmare.
Roberto Martinez, Belgium manager
Skipper Artem Dzuyba carries the hopes of the Russians, who also include talented Monaco star Aleksandr Golovin in the squad.
All but four players in the 26 play outside of the Russian Premier League.
Watch out for…
De Bruyne’s fitness – and whether KDB is forced to return with facegear.
We’ve become accustomed to wearing a mask over the past year or so, but should De Bruyne be fit for this clash he might be forced into donning some face protection of a different kind.
The irony to all this? Antonio Rudiger, the man who clouted De Bruyne in the Champions League final, was also wearing a protective mask.
If the game’s rubbish…
You might be able to spot Dries Merten’s wife Katrin Kerhofs in the St Petersburg stands.
A self-confessed ‘beast in the bedroom’, businesswoman Kat boasts a whopping 356k followers on Instagram.
She met childhood sweetheart Dries in their hometown of Leuven, and they married in 2015 after ten years of dating.
Fancy a punt?
Get all your Euro 2020 ante-post tips with our tournament betting guide HERE.
- Belgium to win 7/10
- The draw 5/2
- Russia to win 4/1
- Kevin De Bruyne & Eden Hazard to have 1 or more shots on target each – Was Evens now 6/4
- Romelu Lukaku to score in the first 20 minutes – Was 7/1 Now 9/1
Euro 2020 outright odds
*All odds from Paddy Power and correct at time of publication.