Belgium are one of the nations the masses are banking on to illuminate the World Cup, but greased in hype and expectation, there’s plenty of cause to argue why the Vincent Kompany-skippered side will slip to second or worse in their quest to qualify from Group H.
A price as short (and obscure) as 61/100 says Marc Wilmots’ men will advance from the eighth division of the draw in first place, but the wily Russia, well-drilled South Korea and not-entirely-useless Algeria providing competition, topping the table won’t be as straightforward as these digits signify.
Backing the 15/4 that says they’ll finish second to Fabio Capello’s Russian outfit with the Taeguk Warriors and the north African faction in third and fourth respectively is a much better value alternative.
Break the seal on a fresh account at bwin.com today and trouser a £30 free bet, which would yield £112.50 of risk-free profit if this proposed Group H forecast proves accurate.
Here’s why punters should oppose the Belgians besting their rivals:
They haven’t participated in any major international tournament since 2002.
A talent-laden squad they may boast, but the current Belgium party don’t have an ounce of World Cup, or any other tournament finals experience for that matter, to speak of.
Briefly scanning the annals also portentously points out that Diables Rouges have never won a group when chasing soccer’s top prize.
Their lack of full-backs is sure to prove detrimental when taking on the elite international outfits.
Belgium may have conceded the joint-second fewest goals in booking their ticket to Brazil 2014, but their defence will face much sterner tests than those provided by Scotland, Wales and Macedonia in South America.
Thomas Vermaelen is the makeshift left-back shoe-horned into the team, while Atletico Madrid’s Toby Alderweireld is the centre-back they play on the right.
Slick attacking units will be able to exploit this out-of-position pair, while Belgium’s own ability to build from the back will be seriously compromised on account of reduced technical ability and a lack of pace.
Their lack of a lethal goal-getter places too much pressure on their attacking midfielders.
Christian Benteke’s enforced absence is sure to unsettle the squad, even though he only mustered two goals as the Belgians topped European qualification Group A.
Chelsea rent-a-striker Romelu Lukaku couldn’t outdo this paltry total when called upon either and the 21-year-old will be spearheading their attack, which could provide cause for concern.
Six goals from 28 caps says the powerful frontman finds the international going much tougher than the Premier League and his toils will leave the likes of Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne to shoulder the net-bulging burden, as well as play the parts of chief chance creators.