MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 09:13:04| >> :600:834649:834649:
Mar 30, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at King Power at Den Dreef Stadion
BelgiumBelgium
8-0
BelarusBelarus
Batshuayi (14'), Vanaken (17', 89'), Trossard (38', 76'), Doku (42'), Praet (49'), Benteke (70')
FT(HT: 4-0)

Preview: Belgium vs. Belarus - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's World Cup qualifier between Belgium and Belarus, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Belgium will be looking to return to winning ways in Group E when they continue their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign at home to Belarus on Tuesday night.

Roberto Martinez's side, who sit second in the section, played out a 1-1 draw with Czech Republic on Saturday, while Belarus will enter this match off the back of a 4-2 home victory over Estonia.


Match preview

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 27, 2021© Reuters

Belgium saw a five-game winning run in all competitions come to an end on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 draw away to Czech Republic; the hosts actually took the lead in the early stages of the second half through Lukas Provod, but Romelu Lukaku levelled the scores on the hour.

Martinez's team opened their Group E challenge with a 3-1 win over Wales, and a return of four points from two matches has left them behind Czech Republic in the section on goal difference.

The Red Devils will be the strong favourites to return to winning ways on Tuesday in their first ever game against Belarus, and they are then not back in action until June 6, facing Croatia in a friendly, before opening their Euro 2020 campaign against Russia on June 12.

Belgium will certainly be a team to watch at this summer's European Championships, while they will also fancy their chances of being a force at the 2022 World Cup should qualification be secured, having finished third in the 2018 edition of the tournament.

Belarus' Vitali Lisakovic celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates on March 27, 2021© Reuters

Belarus, meanwhile, will enter Tuesday's contest off the back of a 4-2 win over Estonia on Saturday, which was their first game in Group E.

Mikhail Markhel's side actually twice fell behind in Minsk, including early in the second period, but they scored three times in the final 30 minutes to secure a vital three points in their section opener.

The White Wings have not qualified for the finals of a World Cup or European Championships since securing independence in 1991, and it is going to be very difficult to make an impression in this group.

Belarus actually only won one of their 10 games during qualification for the 2018 competition, but they could potentially be tricky opposition for the likes of Belgium, Czech Republic and Wales.

The visitors have also won two and lost just one of their last four matches in all competitions and certainly have the players capable of causing Belgium problems in this match.

Belgium World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • W
  • D

Belgium form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Belarus World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • W

Belarus form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W


Team News

Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring against Wales on March 24, 2021© Reuters

Belgium boss Martinez is expected to resist the temptation to make wholesale changes for this game as the draw with Czech Republic has placed a bit of pressure on the Red Devils.

As a result, the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Lukaku are likely to retain their positions in the side, while the goalkeeper, back three and midfield two should remain unchanged.

Martinez could introduce both Thomas Foket and Leandro Trossard into his starting XI, though, while Adnan Januzaj and Dennis Praet are also in contention for the home side.

As for Belarus, head coach Markhel has no injury issues ahead of the contest, but it would not be a surprise to see changes to the starting team from the clash with Estonia.

Syarhey Kislyak and Pavel Savitski both impressed off the bench on Saturday, and the pair could now be handed positions in the first XI, with Denis Laptev and Max Ebong dropping out.

Aleksandr Gutor is now the country's first choice goalkeeper and should retain his position between the sticks, while Vitali Lisakovich is likely to feature in the number 10 spot once again.

Belgium possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Alderweireld, Denayer, Vertonghen; Castagne, Tielemans, Dendoncker, Foket; Trossard, Lukaku, De Bruyne

Belarus possible starting lineup:
Gutor; Yuzepchuk, Naumov, Bordachev, Zolotov; Savitskiy, Kendysh, Yablonskiy, Stasevich; Lisakovich; Kislyak


SM words green background

We say: Belgium 2-0 Belarus

Belarus are capable of making it tough for Belgium, who were far from their best last time out; Martinez will have his players fired up to return to winning ways in Group E, though, and we are finding it difficult to back against the Red Devils in Leuven.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data


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