Russia vs Belgium by Beatle
Next big problem is the defensive line. Berezutsky brothers, Ignashevich are no more with the National Team and I doubt they will make a comeback. Even though they sucked from time to time, they never made such silly mistakes as the current defensive line of the Russian squad. Gus are just inexperienced, have no strong sides (like fast speed, above average technique. Semenov, Kutepov, Kudryashev are all inexperienced players, some of them are just forced to play center defenders even though they play wing backs at their clubs. If you see these names in the starting lineup, you bet on Belgium to score over 1.5 at least. Even if Belgium side plays their second squad, they will have no problems to score 2-3 goals against poor Russian defence. If you don't see Dzyuba, Smolov or Kokorin in the attacking line, I doubt Russia will even score a gold against Belgium. I mean, they are just so bad. Bukharov, Erokhin, Poloz are all below-average players and I doubt they would even have a spot in the English Championship side. I mean, any team, even those at the bottom of the table. Without their leaders, Russia is just another overrated team who plays at home and has a privilege to play at the Confederations Cup this year and World Cup next year. I mean, current side would not even qualify to the World Cup. Without it's experienced defenders, they are just not reliable and I can't see them keep a clean sheet even against 3rd side of team Belgium
It's just a Friendly game you might say and Russians will put a much stronger side this time. Well, yes, I expect Smolov, Dzyuba, Kokorin (or at least some of them) to play, but problems (lack of organization of plays, especially towards attack + weak defensive line) will stay no matter what. There are just no players right now that can become great defenders for the National Team. Mario Fernandez who now got his Russian passport will probably play but he is a wing back and not a center defender. And when you have to play against guys like Lukaku, Mertens, Hazard, De Bruyne, Witsel, Fellaini, Benteke, Origi, I mean... this is just ridiculous. These guys play key roles in the top European clubs. Russians don't have a single player in this roster who plays abroad. And Russian Premier League is not even close to top EU leagues. So there is nothing to talk about here in terms of strength comparison.
Belgium barely got a draw against Greece at home in an important WC2018 qualif. game and that's good for this pick. There will be more motivation for them to win this time, even if it's a friendly game. If Lukaku, Hazard, Mertens, Fellaini, Witsel, Benteke, Origi, Carrasco play, there is nothing to talk about here. Russia will lose even if some if these guys play. If you see Smolov, Dzyuba, Kokorin play, then most likely Russia will score a goal, so then you can go for the over. But if Russia plays with 3 ceter defenders or you see following names in the defensive line : Semenov, Kutepov, Kudryashev, just remember that they are not up to standard to compete with powerful Belgium attacking line.
So watch out for the lineups and good luck. I am taking BEL to win here because you never know with over/under. A lot depends on the lineups, obviously but because Russia lacks organization of attack, has waaay below average defense and has almost nothing to offer in the attack, I take Belgium to win here. Even without lineups disclosed, I give them 70-80% to win this match.
Good luck !
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|Belgium||Unibet||2.40||10||3-3 LOST (-10 units)|
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.