Belgium vs. Russia: Euro 2020 Qualifying Odds, Live Stream and TV InfoMarch 20, 2019
Belgium and Russia kick off their respective 2020 UEFA European Championship campaigns on Thursday, with the hosts hoping to sail through Group I.
The Belgians top the FIFA world rankings, and they are also joined by Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan and San Marino in their qualifying group.
The Red Devils suffered a humbling defeat in their last match, losing 5-2 to Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League.
Date: Thursday, March 21
Time: 7:45 p.m. GMT/3:45 p.m. ET
TV Info: Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Mix (UK); ESPN2, Univision (U.S.)
Live Stream: Sky Go (UK); WatchESPN, Univision NOW (U.S.)
Odds: Belgium: 1-3, Russia: 9-1, draw: 4-1
(Odds via Oddschecker)
Belgium will hold aspirations of winning Euro 2020, and they will expect to get off to the perfect start at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.
The golden generation of Belgian football will have been mildly disappointed not to make the final at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where they finished third, but the forthcoming major tournament is within their capabilities.
Russia will provide two of the toughest tests in Group I. The host nation grew in stature on home soil at the World Cup last summer, and their performances outstripped all expectation.
The Russians arrive in good form and are unbeaten in their last four including two victories over Turkey.
A 5-1 win over the Czech Republic last August proved the feel-good factor was still evident after a glorious summer.
Switzerland proved this Belgium team can be well beaten and defeated convincingly when the tactics are correct.
The loss forced Belgium to surrender their top spot in the Nations League, but it is the thought of the Euros which will motivate them to perform at their optimum level.
Roberto Martinez could be without Romelu Lukaku after the Manchester United striker missed training with his country on Monday.
Per Samuel Green of Goal, the 25-year-old was sent for a scan on a foot injury to determine the depth of any damage.
Lukaku has been in good club form for Manchester United after fighting his way back into the starting XI, and he would be a big miss for Martinez if he is ruled out.
At 50th in the world rankings, Russia will not be expected to tear up any trees on their away journey.
There's a huge gulf in class between the squads, but Russia's Fyodor Smolov is a deadly striker when presented with goalscoring opportunities.
Russia will believe they have a chance on the counter, but the home side have the potential to quickly put away their opponents with Eden Hazard pulling the strings.