WORLD: Friendly International
Time: 7:45 PM
Venue: King Baudouin Stadium (Brusel)
Euro 2020 heavyweights Belgium are firm favourites to record a first home win vs Greece since August 2005. FIFA’s #1 nation ended the March international break in brutal fashion with an 8-0 thrashing of Belarus, which followed a 70% winning rate from their preceding ten games against opposition currently in FIFA’s top 60 (W7, D2, L1).
Five of those seven victories shown above saw Belgium win by 2+ goals, with three of the last four wins seeing them score exactly twice before the half-hour mark. Belgium also led at the 30 minute milestone each time, despite conceding first in two of that trio.
Visitors Greece can take confidence from their last result against a team in FIFA’s current top 20 (1-1 vs Spain), which saw them equalise from the penalty spot after a lost first half. Without Euro 2020 duties looming, they may play boldly, which could help them end a wait for a win vs top-20 opposition which spans back to September 2016 (W 2-1 v Netherlands).
In a reflection of their weakness vs strong opponents, Greece’s subsequent record against teams from League A of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League (UNL) stands at: W1, D6, L5. Three defeats therein yielded a final margin of over 1.5 goals and one half lost by 2+ goals.
Players to watch: Romelu Lukaku scored an 89th minute equaliser for Belgium in the most recent H2H here (1-1, Mar 2017), and three of his last five international goals have closed the overall scoring on the day. Entering this clash after his most potent Eredivisie season, Vangelis Pavlidis has seen two of his three international goals for Greece (from 12 caps) act as match openers in 2-1 victories.
PREDICTION: Home and Over 1.5