Kick Off: 1700, 28/03/2017
Stadium: Fisht Olympic Stadium
World Cup hosts Russia have had some mixed results in international friendlies of late and look worth taking on when Belgium visit Sochi on Tuesday night.
Stanislav Cherchesov has plenty of work to do to get his team up to speed for next year’s tournament, whereas their opponents are already battle-hardened after five qualifying matches.
Looking at the Russia vs Belgium odds, we reckon the visitors can justify being 6/5 favourites for this game.
A Look At Russia’s Betting Odds
Russia went into Euro 2016 in reasonably good form, but after a decent 1-1 draw with England, they suffered an early exit following a 2-1 loss to Slovakia and a humbling 3-0 defeat to Wales.
Since that debacle, the Bears have claimed 1-0 friendly wins over Ghana and Romania, but there were also losses to Costa Rica and Qatar before last week’s 2-0 setback against Ivory Coast in Krasnodar.
Jonathan Kodjia and Wilfried Zaha may have scored stunning goals for the Elephants, but it was still a pretty abject display from Russia, who were jeered off by their own fans at the end of the match.
We’re taking 16/5 for Belgium to also prevail by more than one clear goal.
A Look At Belgium’s Betting Odds
Belgium’s perfect start to their World Cup qualifying group came to an end when they drew 1-1 at home to Greece on Saturday, but it is testimony to the Red Devils’ improved spirit that they managed to secure a share of the spoils in Brussels thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s late equaliser.
This ‘golden generation’ has so far promised much, but failed to deliver when it matters most, as at Euro 2016 when they hammered Hungary 4-0 to reach the quarter-finals, only to then be upset 3-1 by Wales.
The signs are, however, that a number of players have now matured enough to pull through when the chips are down and they are taken to edge out Russia, even without Eden Hazard.
With forwards like Christian Benteke and Michy Batshuayi waiting to come in, we’re going for 2-0 to Belgium at 9/1.
RUSSIA 0-2 Ivory Coast
BELGIUM 1-1 Greece – Romelu Lukaku
Head-to-head: Belgium 1-0 Russia, Russia 0-2 Belgium, Belgium 3-2 Russia, Belgium 0-0 Russia