UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers are going on and tonight Belgium will go against Russia for the Matchday 9 in Group I of the competition.
The Red Devils have traveled to Russia to meet their rivals at Saint-Petersburg Stadium.
The Group has been one of the simplest as the competitors are Belgium, Russia, Cyprus, Scotland, Kazakhstan, and San Marino.
Both sides have already booked their place at the European Championship and will play for the first place in the Group I standings tonight.
The teams’ news
What is up with Russia?
The two teams started their UEFA Qualifications meeting each other in Belgium where Russia lost the match 3-1. But since then they have collected maximum points from their other seven games and most recently the team have defeated Cyprus 5-0. That is how they are already sure of their place at next summer's tournament.
It has to be mentioned that Coach Stanislav Cherchesov has named a 26-man squad for the final two matches, including uncapped quartet Maksim Belyaev, Dmitri Chistyakov, Daniil Fomin and Rifat Zhemaletdinov.
in the chart with 21 points after their rivals, Belgium who are sitting on top with24 points.
Belgium in details
On the other side of the pitch, there are Belgium who are on top of group I as we mentioned before.
It is interesting to know that they are one of the only two teams with a perfect record in EURO 2020 qualifying, not conceding even once in their last seven matches. It was on Matchday 7 when they defeated San Marino with a result of 9-0 before beating Kazakhstan with a result of 2-0.
Russia head coach, Stanislav Cherchesov will send his men against their rivals without a bunch of players due to different kinds of injuries.
It has to be informed that Midfielder Aleksei Miranchuk will return after injury but this is while his brother Anton will still remain sidelined along with Alan Dzagoev, Yury Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, and Denis Cheryshev all due to injuries.
On the other side of the pitch, Roberto Martínez will have Kevin De Bruyne, Leandro Trossard, and Jason Denayer back in the squad again. They all missed the last set of internationals due to injuries.
This is while Vincent Kompany, Koen Casteels, Thomas Meunier, and Jan Vertonghen will still be out as they are all injured.
Looking back through the history books it has to be mentioned that Belgium are unbeaten in their six matches with Russia since the break-up of the Soviet Union, with the Red Devils claiming their fourth win when they last met at the start of this qualification campaign.
This is the first time Russia have hosted Belgium in a competitive match.
It also has to be mentioned that Belgium have won five of the last six meetings between these countries.
The Red Devils have also won all eight games they have played in 2019.
Both the teams have met in total six times and Russia have not won against Belgium ever in their footballing history, only registering two draws with the latest one coming in 2017.
Belgium have at least scored two goals in their game of the qualifiers until now and have also won each of the games by a margin of two or more.
The Red Devils have won 14 of their last 15 qualifiers, suffering just one defeat, a 1-0 defeat in Wales in 2015. Since the defeat, Belgium have recorded 12 straight victories.
The Red Devils have the best defense in the European Qualifiers, having conceded only one goal in the 3-1 win over Russia back in March.
They also have the second-best attack, as they have found the net on 30 occasions so far in the qualifiers. Only England with 33, after putting seven past Montenegro last night have scored more goals than Belgium.
About Russia, it also have to be mentioned that they are the third-best team in terms of attacking record. Stanislav Cherchesov’s side has scored 27 goals so far in the qualifying campaign, including a 9-0 win over San Marino in the third round.
Guilherme, Petrov, Semenov, Dzhikiya, Kudryashov, Ozdoev, Akhmetov, Golovin, Ionov, Dyzuba, Bakaev.
Courtois, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Mechele, Castagne, Witsel, Tielemans, T. Hazard, De Bruyne, E. Hazard, Lukaku.
Russia Key men
The captain who is also a key player at FC Zenit, has now scored 24 international goals in 40 appearances, having scored nine times in the eight Group I matches so far. The 31-year-old has also provided nine assists for the team. This is while in Zenit he has scored one goal in four matches this season so far.
He is one of the Russia playmakers who also plays for AS Monaco. So far, the 23-year-old has scored two goals and provided four assists in the EC Qualifiers for the national. He also has scored three times for his club.
Belgium Key men
On the contrary, Belgium has many players to watch for as well. Eden Hazard, the 28-year-old captain of the team has 30 goals in 104 appearances for Belgium. In this year’s UEFA Qualifiers, he has netted three goals and provided five assists for the team. He also plays as Real Madrid’s winger and so far, he has scored one goal for the team.
He is one of the bests in both Belgium national team, as well as Inter Milan where he kicks the ball as a striker. In this year’s qualifiers, he has scored six times for Belgium to make it 51 goals in 83 international appearances. He also has provided two assists for the team. It also has to be mentioned that the 26-year-old has netted nine assists in the 12 matches he played for Inter this year.
Saturday, 16 November
Which team do you think will be the winner this time?