Our prediction for this Euro 2020 match:
Top position in Group I will be at stake when Russia and Belgium face each other at Saint-Petersburg Stadium on Saturday evening. The Russians are on a seven-game winning run in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, but the Belgians are likely to pose a much bigger threat to the hosts than their previous rivals. Anyhow, Russia are likely to adopt an attack-minded approach in the Group I derby as they are three points behind Belgium in the standings.
The Red Devils aim to keep their 100% record in the Euro 2020 qualifiers intact, but beating Artem Dzyuba and Co. on the road is easier said than done. A close encounter is on the cards in St. Petersburg; therefore, we are tempted to put our money on draw. When the two teams met in Brussels earlier in the process, Belgium defeated Russia 3-1.
Highlighted Player (Denis Cherychev):
Probably the most famous Russian footballer never to have played for a domestic club, Denis Cheryshev was born in Nizhny Novgorod, but began his career at Sporting Gijon as his father played for the Spanish side at the time.
The talented winger eventually caught the eye of Real Madrid and went on to spend eight years in the youth academy at Santiago Bernabeu before he was given a chance to impress on senior level. Due to a fierce competition for places in Madrid, Cheryshev was forced to gain much needed first team experience via loan spells at Sevilla, Villarreal and Valencia, and he showed a great deal of potential during those stints, proving los Blancos were wrong to let him leave.
Chersyhev has been in and out of the Russia national team since making his debut in 2012, but there is a good chance he will become an important member of Sbornaya Komanda as soon as he secures regular playing time at club level. The Russian footballer is capable of operating on either wing or through the middle, and he has proved to be quite prolific in terms of both goals and assists.
Highlighted Team (Belgium):
Present on the international stage since 1904, Belgium national team have had plenty of ups and downs in the past, finishing as runners up at the 1980 European Championship in Italy. The Red Devils also won the third place on home soil at the 1972 tournament, while they enjoyed some success at the World Cup finals as well.
Belgium qualified for 12 World Cup tournaments, reaching the semi-finals in 1986 and quarter-finals at the 2014 tournament in Brazil. It is the generation that played in Brazil that is believed to be the most talented team since the one featuring Enzo Scifo, Michel Preud’homme and Franky van der Elst.
Playing their home games at King Baudouin Stadium, the Red Devils have impressed at the start of the 21st century, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne just some of the world-class players in the squad. Following some impressive results in the Euro 2016 qualifiers and international friendlies, Belgium climbed to number 1 position in the FIFA Rankings in November 2015.