Saturday, September 22, 2018

Prediction: Belgium vs Egypt

Verdict: Belgium/Belgium

Best Odds: 5/6

Bookmaker: bet365

Following the goalless draw with Euro 2016 champions Portugal, Belgium face Egypt in their penultimate warm-up game, hoping to return to winning ways. The Pharaohs, on the other hand, arrive in Brussels on the back of stalemates against Kuwait and Colombia, deprived of star player Mohamed Salah.

Belgium

Everybody agrees that this is without a doubt the most talented generation in the history of the Belgian national football team, but they have so far failed to reach their full potential. Quarter-final appearances at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 were not enough to satisfy the appetites of an expecting nation and the Red Devils will be under pressure to finally mount a serious title challenge when they take the stage in Russia.

The Red Devils were thoroughly impressive in the qualifying campaign, recording 9 wins and a draw to finish nine points above second-placed Greece, and they have since continued with promising performances. Belgium defeated Japan and Saudi Arabia, while sharing spoils with Mexico and Portugal, and they will also face Egypt and Costa Rica ahead of the 2018 World Cup finals. Having announced his final squad, head coach Roberto Martinez will be looking to fine-tune his starting 11 in the remaining warm-up games, so you should expect the hosts to take this game very seriously.

Team News

Radja Nainggolan and Christian Benteke both missed out on the final squad, while Vincent Kompany is included, but he is unlikely to face Egypt.

Egypt

Egypt are set to end a 28-year wait for their second World Cup appearance, having qualified for the tournament in Russia, mostly thanks to some stunning performances from Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah. The entire nation was in the state of shock as the on-form winger suffered a shoulder injury in the Champions League final, but he has since been included in the country’s final World Cup squad and is likely to appear at the biggest stage.

Salah could, however, miss one or two group fixtures, which is why it was very important to see how the team would fare without him as they faced Colombia in Bergamo. As expected, the Pharaohs were on the back foot throughout the game, but managed to hold Los Cafeteros to a goalless draw, and that is precisely what they will be looking to do in the Belgium clash.

Team News

Mohamed Salah will not feature as he is sidelined through injury, while Sporting Braga striker Kouka was surprisingly left out of the final squad.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Belgium won 9 of 10 qualifying games
  • The Red Devils kept four clean sheets in last five
  • Egypt winless in last five fixtures (D3 L2)
  • Mohamed Salah still missing for the Pharaohs
  • Egypt won both meetings with Belgium so far

Conclusion

Egypt were pretty fortunate not to concede against Colombia, but stopping very good Belgium side from scoring will prove a very difficult task. The Red Devils are keen to impress on home soil and we are backing them to record a comfortable triumph.

Verdict: Belgium/Belgium

Best Odds: 5/6

Bookmaker: bet365

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