Date: 13th June 2021
Time: 12:30 AM IST
Venue: Krestovsky Stadium, Russia
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Belgium are among the favourites to win Euro 2020 along with France and Portugal. The Red Devils start their bid for glory with a clash against Russia. Roberto Martinez’s Belgium are ranked No. 1 in the FIFA world rankings and will be determined to get their campaign off to a good start. While Russia will start as the underdogs.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel, Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne and Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard are all doubtful for Belgium’s opening match.
Head coach Stanislav Cherchesov will have a fully fit squad to choose from.
Russia reached the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup on home soil and were also in fine form during the 2019 qualification campaign, earning a second place in their group. Currently ranked 38th, Russia will rely on Artem Dyzuba, Aleksei Miranchuk and Aleksandr Golovin for goals. Head coach Stanislav Cherchesov like crosses to his tall forwards and also wants his front three to press hard.
Belgium will play the same 3-4-3 system they have been using for the past five years under Roberto Martínez. Belgium have no shortage of attacking options with a power-packed forward line consisting of some of world’s best attackers. But the absence of Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard might hurt them.
Inter Milan Romelu Lukaku enjoyed an excellent season in Serie A and he will surely be a danger to any opposition. Lukaku was named as the best overall MVP (Most Valuable Player) of Serie A as he scored a total of 24 league goals, which fired Inter to their first league title in 11 years. The Red Devils will hope that Lukaku can replicate his club form at the international level. The best captain and vice-captain choices for this match will be Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens, Thorgan Hazard, Artem Dzyuba and Aleksandr Golovin.
Probable Playing XI
Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Jason Denayer, Jan Vertonghen, Timothy Castagne/ Thomas Meunier, Youri Tielemans, Leander Dendoncker, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, Dries Mertens, Thorgan Hazard, Romelu Lukaku
Anton Shunin, Igor Diveyev, Georgi Dzhikiya, Fyodor Kudryashov, Mario Fernandes, Roman Zobnin, Magomed Ozdoyev, Yuri Zhirkov, Aleksei Miranchuk, Aleksandr Golovin, Artem Dzyuba
GK: Anton Shunin
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld, Jason Denayer, Jan Vertonghen, Timothy Castagne, Yuri Zhirkov
Midfielders: Youri Tielemans, Yannick Carrasco, Thorgan Hazard, Aleksandr Golovin
Forwards: Artem Dzyuba, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Aleksei Miranchuk
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