Group G gets back underway on Saturday lunchtime as Belgium take on Tunisia in Moscow. These two experienced very different opening day results as Belgium cruised to a 3-0 victory against a physical Panama side, whilst Tunisia went down to a last gasp 2-1 defeat to England. Those results mean that if Belgium win here on Saturday, then they will qualify and Tunisia will be out if England beat Panama on Sunday. Belgium will come into the game as big favourites and this talented side are being backed by many to go far in the tournament. This is the fourth meeting between these two sides, with the last game ending up as a 1-1 draw; a result neither side will want.
Belgium were slightly underwhelming in their 3-0 victory against Panama last time out and Panama managed to frustrate them during a goalless first half. You feel that Belgium will have to improve against a Tunisia side who looked fairly solid against England in their last match and manager Roberto Martinez may choose to make changes to his line up. Romelu Lukaku grabbed two goals against Panama and the Manchester United striker will be looking to add to his tally against Tunisia on Saturday as he dreams of winning the Golden Boot.
Tunisia experienced heartbreak in their opening game as Harry Kane scored a 91st minute goal to steal victory for England. After struggling in the opening 20 minutes, Tunisia grew into the game and a penalty from Ferjani Sassi levelled things up midway through the first half. Tunisia put in a solid defensive performance in the heat of Volgograd after that, before Kane broke their hearts with that late goal. That result means that Tunisia must get something out of this game with Belgium on Saturday or they will face elimination.
Belgium have one of the most talented squads in the World Cup and even though they took a while to find their stride against Panama, they should have far too much quality for Tunisia on Saturday. Roberto Martinez must find a way to get Kevin De Bruyne further forward after the Manchester City midfielder was forced to play deep for much of the opening game. If Martinez can get De Bruyne into his best position then he should be able to feed that fearsome front line of Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku. I’m backing Belgium to win this game and I’m hoping that Martinez can get this side to finally click at a major tournament.
Betting Tips (Coral)
Belgium start this game as big favourites at odds of 4/11, whilst a much needed victory for Tunisia is priced up at 9/1, with the draw available at 18/5. Belgium should have far too much quality for Tunisia in this one and I think backing them to win with a -1 handicap could well be a good bet here. Tunisia will have to come onto Belgium and I think that could well play into their hands, so the 21/20 on Belgium (-1) looks like a solid bet to me. Another interesting bet could be Belgium to win both halves at 27/10 and after they started slowly against Panama, you’d expect that Martinez will want them to make a statement early in this one. Romelu Lukaku scored a brace against Panama and the 4/7 on him to score at anytime in this one looks like easy money.
Belgium (-1) – 21/20 (Coral)
Coral Offer: 18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs Apply.