A clash between the top and bottom ranked nations in world football and I think we all know the outcome of this one. Giants Belgium welcome minnows San Marino to Brussels and the Red Devils should absolutely cruise to victory and maintain their 100% start. From a betting perspective this one is a nailed-on win for Belgium and you can get them to win @ a measly 1.005, there’s obviously not much point including this selection in any accumulator, but a few markets have caught my eye.
The Belgians have been dominant so far in Group I, winning all six matches scoring 19 goals and only conceding a solitary 1 in their first match against Russia, which they won 3-1. They really do seem to be living up to their title of the top ranked team and their ruthless attack has definitely been on show this qualifying campaign, with a 4-0 victory away to Scotland showcasing that in the last international break.
They have already travelled to San Marino this campaign with the result ending in a routine 4-0 victory in which Belgium had a jaw dropping 33 shots and 12 corners. Their dominance was evident as expected to see and I’m obviously expecting more of the same on Thursday evening in Brussels.
San Marino on the other hand as expected haven’t had many successes in recent times, with their last goal coming back in September 2017 in a 5-1 loss to Azerbaijan, that’s also their only goal in the last three years. Over the current qualifying campaign, they’ve conceded a whopping 28 goals in the 6 matches, most notably a 9-0 loss on their visit to Moscow in June. Their away record seems far worse than their home when it comes to goals with 18 of their 28 coming on the road and you’d be silly not to expect plenty more against Belgium.
The Red Devils have named a very strong squad for this upcoming international break and I’m expecting Roberto Martinez to name a fairly strong starting lineup for this one. With the likes of Hazard & Lukaku potentially starting against San Marino, there could be plenty of goals in this one.
They’re without creative genius Kevin De Bruyne, but with the likes of Dries Mertens & Eden Hazard providing more than enough chances for strikers like Divock Origi or Romelu Lukaku, goals should be flying in.
It’s fairly difficult to get much news on San Marino, I’d be surprised if they don’t line up in a 5-3-2 formation, trying to keep it tight and compact at the back and not allowing Belgium much space in the final third. They’re also likely to sit one or two midfielders in front of the defence as a shield to prevent Belgium’s creative midfield expressing their talent.
As I said it’s quite a difficult match to bet on with Belgium being such heavy favourites and a lot of bookies haven’t priced up many markets for this one. However, I do have two bets that I like the look of are Dries Mertens to score 2+ goals @ 2.30 and Romelu Lukaku to score & assist a goal @ 1.61. Both the above look great value considering the two players will be well amongst the goals with Belgium dominating from start to finish.
I did look at the over goals market and you’re not getting anything of value until Over 6.5 Goals, which clearly shows how this one is going to go. Getting behind players to score/assist for Belgium rather than the team seems to be the beneficial way to be approach this match.