Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Prediction: Belgium vs Iceland

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 7 Sep 2020

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Verdict: Belgium win to nil

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to make it two Nations League victories in as many appearances, Belgium will welcome Iceland to an empty Stade Roi Baudouin on Tuesday night.

Belgium

Starting with the hosts, opening this year’s Nations League campaign with a deserved 2-0 win away at a rugged Denmark over the weekend, Belgium find themselves tipped by many as the leading contenders. While Roberto Martinez’s men might have been disappointed to have only collected a bronze medal finish out in Russia two years ago, the one-time Wigan boss has seen his superstars bounce back and they certainly laid down a clinical marker on route to booking their spot at next summer’s delayed European Championships. One of just two nations who came through qualifying with a 100% record to their name, the Red Devils also hold what is a fearsome reputation for their performances in the final third. Including signing off their Group I campaign with what turned out to be a 6-1 romp against Cyprus in Brussels, Belgium recorded 40 strikes during qualifying, the best attacking-record of any nation. Now bagging at least a pair of strikes in their last 13 appearances on the bounce, there is no doubt that Tuesday’s hosts will be looking to make another statement.

Team News

With Roberto Martinez expected to make a handful of changes in midweek, expect to see Real Madrid ace Eden Hazard recalled from the start on Tuesday night.

Elsewhere, after coming off the bench against Denmark over the weekend, Leicester midfielder Dennis Praet is pushing for a start.

Iceland

As for the visitors, missing out on what was a golden opportunity to snatch a shock last-gasp point against England on home soil over the weekend, Iceland will certainly still be reeling from their 1-0 defeat in Reykjavík. Really seen as a clear favourite to be the Group A whipping boys this time around after being placed alongside the likes of England, Belgium and Denmark, there is no doubt that the Blues also have one eye on their EURO 2021 play-off showdown against Romania next month. However, in for what should be another tough step up in class when they travel across Europe on Tuesday night, Head Coach Erik Hamrén has seen his side continue to struggle with their issues on foreign soil. Including shipping four away in Albania during qualifying last year, Iceland have managed to win just a pair of their last 13 contests on the road, a run that has seen them also suffer 6-0 and 4-0 drummings at the hands of Switzerland and France.

Team News

After being sent off against England in their 1-0 loss over the weekend, Iceland will be without defender Sverrir Ingason who will start a suspension.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Including landing a 2-0 win when the two nations faced off in the inaugural Nations League two years ago, Belgium have won each of the 11 meetings they have ever had against Iceland.
  • The Red Devils have conceded just a single goal in any of their last eight meetings against Tuesday’s guests.
  • Belgium have scored at least a pair of goals in their last 13 appearances on the bounce.
  • Iceland have managed to win just two of their last 13 away matchups across all competitions.
  • The Blues have lost their last three trips to Brussels by an aggregate score of 9-1.

Conclusion

Opening their Nations League campaign over the weekend with a 2-0 win away in Denmark, there is no doubt that Belgium will see Tuesday’s meeting as a golden chance to extend on their recent purple patch. Boasting a string of European superstars and really laying down a marker during qualifying for EURO 2021, it is also hard to look past their stunning record against Iceland. Including landing a 2-0 win when the two nations faced off back in 2018, Belgium have won all 11 of their meetings against the Blues and will be looking to make another statement in Brussels.

Verdict: Belgium win to nil

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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