Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Estonia and Belgium face each other in a David-vs-Goliath clash at A. Le Coq Arena. The Estonians are stuck at the bottom of the table, with the team losing each of their first two group games. The underdogs obviously struggle at the back, and we do not believe that they are capable of making a miracle in Thursday’s qualifier. The Red Devils, on the other hand, head into the match without six players who were part of the EURO 2020 squad, with Nacer Chadli, Kevin De Bruyne, Jeremy Doku, and Dries Mertens all missing out with injuries.
Thomas Vermaelen is out of contention due to quarantine regulations in Japan, while goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has been allowed time off. Anyhow, Roberto Martinez has a strength in depth, and we predict that Belgium are going to retain top position in Group E. New Chelsea attacker Romelu Lukaku is widely expected to lead the line for the visitors.
Highlighted Player (Ragnar Klavan):
Ragnar Klavan is a defender who started his senior career at Elva. After playing for Tulevik an Flora between 2002 and 2005, the Estonian footballer joined Heracles Almelo on 4 August, 2005. Klavan made his debut for Heracles five days later and he scored his first goal for the club on 31 December, 2005, in a 2-2 draw with Vitesse.
In 2009 he was sent on loan to AZ Alkmaar and he signed a permanent deal with the Dutch outfit on 4 February, 2009. He played 12 games for AZ in the 2008/2009 season and it has to be noted that the Cheeseheads won the national championship that season. He played for AZ Alkmaar until 2 July, 2012 when he decided to move to Germany.
The Estonian defender signed a two-year deal with Augsburg and he made no less than 125 appearances for the German club between 2012 and 2016. Klavan impressed in the 2015/2016 Bundesliga campaign and, as a result, Liverpool chiefs decided to sign him on 20 July, 2016. He made his Estonia debut on 3 July, 2013 against fellow Baltic side Lithuania.
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.