RUS vs BEL Dream11: The top two teams in Group I will square off in the Euro 2020 qualifier as Russia play host to Belgium in round-9 at Krestovsky Stadium. Only three points separate both these teams on the points table, with Belgium boasting a 100% record after 8 games but Russia have been relentless and have won the last seven games in the campaign with the only defeat of their campaign coming against Roberto Martinez's men on opening day.
Russia exceeded expectations in the last World Cup and they have been on the upward trajectory since then. Even there were positives for Russia in its 3-1 defeat against Belgium in the reverse fixture. Stanislav Cherchesov deserves all the praise for making Russia a string football team once again, but at this moment, Belgium are just on another level and the visitors will start the game as favorites here.
Competition: UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers
Match Timing: November 16, @ 10:30 PM
Match Venue: Krestovsky Stadium
Pride! Both the teams have already eared the ticket to Euro 2020 and will look at this game as a measuring stick. Belgium boasts a 100% record in the Euro 2020 qualifying rounds, while Russia's only defeat was against the Red Devils and they also come into this game in red-hot form, having win the last seven matches.
First and foremost, the result will depend on how Belgium and Russia line up here. Considering both the teams have nothing to play for except the pride, there's a room for either manager to flirt with their respective playing 11 here. If Belgium line-up here with the big guns, they will definitely start the game as favorites. Here are the odds!
Russia to win: 11/4
A draw: 14/5
Belgium to win: 1/1
Likely scoreline here: Russia 1-2 Belgium
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Artem Dzyuba to open the scoring for the hosts.
Artem Dzyuba to have more than two shots on target in this match.
Artem Dzyuba to win more than two headers in the match.
Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne both to play more than two key passes in this match.
Romelu Lukaku to open the scoring for Belgium.
Aleksei Miranchuk to lay an assist in this match.
Both teams to score in this match.
Mario Fernandez to make more than two successful crosses in the match.
Axel Witsel to receive a yellow card at any point in the match.
Russia: Guilherme (GK), Fernandes, Semyonov, Dzhikiya, Kudryashov Ozdoyev, Zobnin, Ionov Golovin, Aleksei Miranchuk, Dzyuba
Belgium: Thibaut Courtois (GK), Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen, Castagne, Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Thorgan Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku
Russia team news:
Russia head coach Stanislav Cherchesov has his options cut back due to the unavailability of first-team players such as Fyodor Smolov, Yury Gazinsky, and Alan Dzagoev. The trio is not part of the squad due to injury as is Aton Miranchuk who is recovering from a knee injury.
In addition, the hosts are also fretting about the fitness of star midfielder Denis Cheryshev. Any decision about his involvement in this tough game will only be cleared after a late fitness test prior to the match.
Aleksei Miranchuk is back in the national color after missing out last month due to an injury. He will be starting the game, while uncapped players like Daniil Fomin, Maksim Belyaev, Rifat Zhemaletdinov, and Dmitri Chistyakov, all will be looking to get some minutes in this game.
Belgium team news:
Belgium have little or no injury issues in their squad. Though, Vincent Kompany and Thomas Meunier both are carrying some knocks and are doubtful for this game. But their absence will hardly have an effect on Roberto Martinez's tactics in this game. He has more than a back-up player who can do a similar job.
Expect Belgium to go with a three-man backline here once again with Alderweireld, Vermaelen, and Vertonghen all starting in front of Courtois in goal. Lukaku will lead the attack with Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard supporting him.
Defenders: Vermaelen, Alderweireld, Dzhikiya, M Fernandez
Midfielders: K D Bruyne, E Hazard (C), A Witsel, R Zobnin
Attackers: Lukaku, Dzyuba (VC)
There's not much at stake here for either team but the matter of pride will push the managers and their players in the game.
Belgium are more talented and established at the moment and we back them to win the game here.