Already qualified Belgium head back to St. Petersburg’s Gazprom Arena to take on Finland in their final Group B fixture, whilst Denmark host Russia in Copenhagen.
Roberto Martinez’s side only need a point to guarantee top spot and book a last 16 tie with a 3rd place qualifier, but are yet to field their best XI together so I’m not expecting them to play for the draw.
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The Huuhkajat managed to beat Denmark 1-0 in their opener – despite being outshot 22-1 – and then only managed one shot on target in their 1-0 defeat to Russia, so the fact they’re potentially a point away from qualifying is remarkable.
It won’t be *that* simple for Markku Kanerva’s plucky underdogs though, as that point has to be earned against FIFA’s top ranked side in the world.
A side that looks to welcome Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, and Axel Witsel to its starting XI for the first time at this tournament.
The Man in the Middle
Taking control of this group decider is German referee Felix Brych. The doctor gave 115 bookings in 36 club games last season, at an average of 3.19 yellows per game.
In the opening matchday of Euro 2020 he showed a solitary card in Ukraine’s 3-2 defeat to the Netherlands in Amsterdam, which came in the 93rd minute.
I think The Red Devils should fancy themselves to win this one pretty comfortably against a clearly inferior side in Finland.
They’ve lost just once in their last 25 fixtures, scoring two or more goals on 20 separate occasions, and haven’t tasted competitive defeat to a side ranked outside the world top 50 since Estonia beat a side containing Gill Swerts and Roland Lamah 2-0 in 2010.
It’s why Belgium to Win makes up part of my 3/1 bet365 BetBuilder, alongside, Finland Under 2.5 Shots On Target and Belgium Under 2 Cards For Belgium.
As mentioned above, the Finnish contingent have managed two shots on target at the whole tournament so far. They haven’t managed more than three in any of their last six international fixtures, and I can’t see them spending much time in Belgium’s half here.
That brings me to the next selection, Under 2 Cards for Belgium. The Red Devils don’t often find themselves in trouble with the referee, picking up two or more cards in just two of their last 11 competitive fixtures.
Given the trend for cards at this tournament, I don’t see Felix Brych needing to delve into his pocket much.
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