Belgium vs Norway by 20Legend

Belgium faced Finland (1-1) back on Wednesday which should have been a formality in terms of their starting lineup. The game started off as predicted with Belgium dominating everything during the first half. They created clear chances and looked dangerous every time they were given the ball. However, the efficiency was horrible and it definitely needs to be fixed if they are going to challenge teams like Germany, France and Spain for the title during the Euros next week. The second half did not give them the extra confidence though as their horrible precision continued. It all became worse when Finland suddenly struck after a cross on the left hand side after 53 minutes.

Their striker Hamalainen came in with speed and none of Belgium’s defensive players were able to pick him up. The Belgian waste of chances then continued and Christian Benteke’s miss on open goal after 78 minutes gave a good picture of how terrible their finishing was this evening. It was therefore almost a sensation that Romelu Lukaku was able to score on a rebound with his chest after 88 minutes.

What should have been a walk in the park for Belgium actually became a match were they was extremely close on loosing. They had 68% of the ball possession, 17 corners and seven shots at goal, but it does not help when you can’t score the needed goals. That is what this game is all about, but it also gives a good picture in how difficult it is to predict an international friendly.

The Belgian team has received several negative defensive injuries prior to the Euros which obviously is a challenge for any team. Vincent Kompany, Bjorn Engels and Dedryck Boyata were all ruled out of the squad, before Nicolas Lombaerts got injured last week as well. The newest problem for Belgium is Thomas Vermaelen who felt pain to his calf in training the same on Friday. He will therefore be spared tonight together with Yannick Ferreira Carrasco who also deals with a groin-problem. It is also expected that Moussa Dembele, Maoruane Fellaini and Radja Nainggolan could be rested against Norway.

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Norway did finally get a nice win to their belt as Iceland got beaten 3-2 back on Wednesday. It was a game were the Norwegian team managed to continue their good 1st half against Portugal some days earlier. It all started in the most perfect way with midfielder Stefan Johansen scoring after 40 seconds that gave Norway the initiative. However, the Norwegian strikers are struggling on scoring goals and they were not efficient enough this time either. With the Norwegian strikers missing their opportunities, Iceland equalized with one of their first attempts after 36 minutes after a cross from the left hand side. Norway then got a free kick on the edge of the box after 41 minutes where winger Pal Andre Helland scored beautifully to give Norway a 2-1 lead to halftime.

The Norwegians continued on being the best team and controlled the game in terms of producing the most chances. Their coach Per Mathias Hogmo decided to let two youngsters making their way into the team after 53 minutes with Martin Samuelsen (West Ham) and Alexander Sorloth (Groningen) entering the pitch. It did give the team an immediate reaction with the dribbling feet of Samuelsen that challenged the Icelandic defenders time and time again.

Their third goal came after Samuelsen’s footwork which ended with a rebound from the keeper, but Sorloth following up the rebound and chipped the goalkeeper in order to mae his first goal on the international arena. It all became unnecessary exciting after 81 minutes when Vegard Forren gave Iceland a penalty. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea) had no problem to make it 3-2. All in all it was a deserved win for Norway who actually produced a lot of chances this evening. Iceland started with some of their key-players on the bench before putting them on in the second half. However, it gave Norway some positive vibes to build on against a much better opponent on paper tonight. Winger Pal Andre Helland (Rosenborg) has been ruled out from the squad after the game against Iceland in order to rest.

This match is the last chance for Belgium to get their efficiency up before the Euros is about to begin. Their performance against Finland showed their capabilities of creating chances and be dominant during their games. It is therefore easy to understand why Belgium can be a contender for the title in the Euros given that their precision increases off course.

Norway has no Euro 2016 in sight, but is using their friendlies to get experiences towards the WC-qualification that starts in September against Germany. They have met two strong opponents in Portugal and Iceland so far which have given some positive answers. Belgium should certainly show a better side of themselves and increase their efficiency in their last game.

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All the players want to be in the starting lineup for the Euros, so the motivation should clearly be there given the extreme competition for a starting role. It should be a different class between a team that is heading for the Euros and a team that is only getting valuable experience in front of the WC qualification in September. However, it is some defensive questions surrounding the team at the moment which could be Norway’s hope here. The away side has no pressure and has confidence from their recent win against Iceland. On the other side, Belgium wants surely wants some confidence into the team before heading to the tournament.

Their performance against Finland was terrible and it shows that Norway can score in a friendly like this if they just work hard enough. With the uncertainty surrounding the home team’s lineup as well, I expect a highly entertaining match which makes over 2.5 goals an interesting choice in my opinion.

Bet: Over 2.5 goals @1.79 with Pinnacle
Result: 3-2 (won)
 * Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.
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12 Comments

  1. Ergin8 says:

    Not to disagree with your prediction here 20legend and I’ve done well on your tips before so as respect and credit is due; don’t you think this over/under punts have been sh***ing the bed lately?

  2. pantelija says:

    after an amazing run u are giving some forced picks…u may explore a bit with that interrnational friendly picks but that is just unreliable ..even after last weekend that mjondalen pick was forced ,maybe if u failed there it would stop u from digging these frindly games…all in all u are great but i will prefer ur norwegian picks and i advise u to do the same..at least hold on until EURO starts..GL

  3. Dan says:

    1-0 2-0 are the most likely results

  4. gilles says:

    Vermaelen, Meunier, Carrasco are out as far as I know, they get 4 days individual program and should be ready for training at 8th June
    Carrasco, Nainggolan and Lukaku R. were before start against Finland promised for Sunday, except Carrasco others should normally appear at start
    Possible Line-up Belgium: Courtois (GK), Denayer (RB), Alderweireld and Vertonghen (CB, duo Spurs), Lukaku J.( LB), Witsel, Nainggolan, De Bruyne, Hazard, Mertens, Lukaku R.
    this will most likely be 11 starters (i’m 90% sure, if no new injuries happen)
    I expect Belgium win -1AH for me (good option) and at higher odds normal win @ 2.5 or so max.10euro at Ladbrokes.be GL

  5. gilles says:

    Romelu Lukaku will also get 90 minutes

  6. 20legend says:

    Ergin, pantelija: Guys, I am most aware of the picks going south these days and I am truly sorry for that. However, let me be clear on one thing; none of my picks are forced because of anything. I try to share my thoughts on matches where I genuinly see the value. I am not using severeal hours a week on writing picks that I do not see the value of. After a sensational last month with 24-0-6, I am now hitting a bump in the road with 1-0-5 so far this month. It is all naturall in the world of betting because you cannot win every time you pick something. That is not possible. It is all about staying focused and try to turn things around once again and beleive me; I will do so :)

    Gilles: Thank you for the good information! I certainly find Belgium to win this match as the likely outcome myself and I also see that your information should benefit the pick on over 2.5 goals. GL:)

  7. gilles says:

    11 starters confirmed 4-2-1-3 see before and witsel and nainggolan behind de bruyne on 10, hazard on left, mertens right, lukaku in the top

  8. 19 says:

    Hope for quickie Norwegian goal:)

  9. 19 says:

    wow it looks like Norway is the team to save the bet, Belgium with only one shot on goal in first. Laying Belgium at half at odds 1.75 looks great.

  10. 19 says:

    Great pick, Belgium finnaly woke up, but let go Norway for 3-3

  11. Pepi75 says:

    I don`t get people complaining for picks…
    It`s about analysis… all the tipster here are very good in analyzing games… then, basing on their analysis, we can do OUR pick… they are not magicians that have to guess all the trend, it`s always our responsibility which trigger to push.
    Personally today i`ve played over 2,75 on the basis of this post…yesterday i played under 3,5 on the Elverum match. I think we should use the comments here just to say thanx or adds information that we think are useful…
    If someone is better than the people posting here, he can try to post something

    • Ergin8 says:

      On the contrary: 20legend is a good tipster and it is my duty to point out a bad trend as someone who takes him seriously and follows his lead. He may or may not see the trend in recent losses, it is my duty to remind him constructively and encourage him. If what you suggest was true it’d make one complacent. In the betting world, the one thing you can’t become is complacent.

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