Our match prediction:
Belgium will be aiming to make amends for a 2-0 loss to Italy when they take on Republic of Ireland at Stade Matmut-Atlantique in Bordeaux. The Red Devils failed to grab something from the opening match of their Euro 2016 campaign, but the team’s performance in the clash against Antonio Conte’s men was anything but poor. Romelu Lukaku missed a clear-cut opportunity to score in the 1-0 loss to the Azzurri and it probably the main reason why Marc Wilmots’ men failed to avoid defeat in their opener. Republic of Ireland, on the other hand, shared the spoils with Sweden in their first group game, but they face an uphill task in Saturday’s football game against Belgium. Marc Wilmots can count on all of his key attackers for the Stade Matmut-Atlantique clash and we predict that the Red Devils are going to pick up all three points from the match.
Highligted Player (Hazard):
After impressing during his six-year spell with Lille (2007-2012), Eden Hazard signed for Chelsea in June, 2012. The Belgian midfielder helped the Blues win the Premier League trophy in the 2014/2015 campaign and it has to be noted that he was named the Premier League Player of the Year back then. Eden Hazard made it to the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals with Belgium, but Argentina proved to be a big catch for the Red Devils in the last eight of the showpiece tournament in Brazil. Hazard scored one goal for Belgium at the Euro 2016 finals, while providing four assists for his teammates and no doubt he was the key player for Marc Wilmots’ team at the tournament in France. Eden was born on 7 January, 1991 in La Louviere, Belgium and it is well known that his brother Thorgan Hazard is a professional football player as well. Eden Hazard is married to Natacha Van Honacker, who gave birth to their three children.
Highlighted Team (Ireland):
Competing as an independent entity since 1953, Republic of Ireland have struggled to match the world’s best national teams ever since, although they did achieve several respectable results on the road. Their best ever result, the 1990 World Cup quarter-final, was achieved with a big smile from Lady Luck seeing that the Irish reached the last eight without winning a single match. They have since reached the last 16 stage at the 1994 and 2002 tournaments, while only qualifying for three European Championship finals (1988, 2012, 2016). The Irish were in the top 10 of the FIFA Rankings in 1993 and 1994, but have failed to repeat the success in the next twenty odd years, and it appears they are no closer to bridging the gap behind European powerhouses. Robbie Keane holds the record for most national team caps and goals at the same time, having bagged 67 in 143 appearances, whereas Niall Quinn, Steve Staunton, Damien Duff, Tony Cascarino and Don Givens are some of the other star players.