Our match prediction:
After making it to the World Cup quarter-finals two years ago, star-studded Belgium will be looking to record yet another good result at the major tournaments at Euro 2016. Marc Wilmots can’t count on injured defender Vincent Kompany for the tournament in France, but he has a number of high-profile players to choose from and we predict that they will find the net in their Euro 2016 opener against Italy. The Azzurri recorded a routine 2-0 win over Finland in their final warm-up game, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry in the opening match of their Euro 2016 campaign. However, considering that Belgium will be without key defender Vincent Kompany in Monday’s football match, both teams to score bet appears on the cards. When the two teams met in a friendly in 2015 Belgium recorded a 3-1 win over Italy and, taking everything into account, we should see a lively contest at Parc Olympique Lyonnais.
Highligted Player (Nainggolan):
Born on 4 May 1988, Radja Nainggolan is a Belgian footballer who plays for AS Roma as a central midfielder. The combative midfielder failed to leave a mark on domestic stage, having left his first club Germinal Beerschot for Piacenza as a 17-year-old. Nainggolan soon started to prove his worth at senior level, earning a move to Cagliari in 2010. He continued with impressive performances in Italian Serie A and eventually snubbed a number of top European sides to join AS Roma in 2014. The central midfielder enjoyed a very good start to his career at Stadio Olimpico, while also establishing himself as a first team regular in the Belgian national team, helping the Red Devils climb to first place in FIFA Rankings and also qualify for the Euro 2016 finals. A highly skilled midfielder who does not shirk from defensive duties, Nainggolan is also famous for his fiery temperament that has seen him earn 2 red cards and over 70 yellow cards during the course of his career.
Highlighted Team (Italy):
With four World Cup titles and one European Championship trophy, Italy remain one of world’s most successful teams and they have also finished as runners up at major tournaments on four occasions. The Azzurri have become famous for their result oriented football over the years which is perfectly suited for World Cup and Euro finals, so it is now a surprise when they fail to reach the final stages. After winning the second and third edition of the World Cup, Italy endured a difficult period until lifting their first European Championship title in 1968, while they also managed to show some improvement at the turn of the century. While winning the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the Azzurri reached Euro finals in 2000 and 2012, and they are still regarded as one of the leading sides in Europe. There have been too many high-profile players leaving their mark on the national team to count, but the likes of Paolo Maldini, Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Dino Zoff, Roberto Baggio, Luigi Riva and Alessandro Del Piero will go down as some of the most successful ones.