Belgium v Algeria Preview

Group H | Tuesday 17 June | Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte | 18:00





Labelled the dark horses by many, fan favourites Belgium will be out to impress when they take on The Fennec Foxes on Tuesday as Group H kicks off.

To Win (90mins)
Belgium 9/20
Draw 32/10 
Algeria 62/10

BELGIUM

The new golden generation of young Belgian stars are turning heads across the globe, and could be a serious threat to the established soccer powers in Brazil.

Belgium have a squad overflowing with talented individuals who have been moulded in to a successful team by Marc Wilmots. In qualifying they won eight out of their 10 games and confidence is building.

The Red Devils have become a very trendy dark horse pick to make some real noise at the World Cup. Not many sides can boast the amount of depth Belgium have on their roster.

Their squad are composed of young stars making waves in the English Premier League and elsewhere. Vincent Kompany will be looking to build on his successful campaign after winning the English Premier League with Manchester City.

The defender has been a key part of Belgium’s recent resurgence and his brilliant defensive capabilities help balance out Belgium’s deadly attacking force.

Further forward, Eden Hazard is undoubtedly Belgium’s most influential player. The Chelsea star took the English Premier League by storm this past season, netting 16 times with seven assists in all competitions and was awarded PFA Young Player of the Year.

Hazard has the potential to be one of the players of this World Cup. With Christian Benteke missing the tournament due to injury, Wilmots will be counting on the inform Romelu Lukaku who spent last season on loan to Everton from Chelsea.

Lukaku’s physical presence will trouble the Algerian defence which could leave gaps open for the likes of Hazard and Kevin Miralles to pounce on.

Also, youngster Adnan Januzaj, the topic of a national debate in England not too long ago, could shine if given the chance. 

ALGERIA

Two successive World Cup appearances would have seemed almost impossible a decade ago but Algeria have made a swift return from the doldrums to again take a prominent role in African soccer.

The Fennec Foxes have had little to celebrate since the last time they were crowned Africa Cup of Nations champions in 1990.

However, their qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup sparked wild scenes last November and both fans and players are looking forward to appearing at successive finals for the second time.

Vahid Halilhodzic’s side face a difficult test against the Red Devils who are strong favourites to top the group.

Algeria do have some quality players in their squad who could pose a threat to the Belgians, one of them being Sofiane Feghouli.

Feghouli is perhaps the most renowned player in Algeria’s current squad, having played for La Liga giants Valencia since 2010.

One of a number of French-born players within Algeria’s setup, Feghouli is known for possessing pace and being a creative force in midfield, primarily operating on the right wing but with the versatility, moving between central areas and unlocking defences.

Striker Islam Slimani is quite a handful in the final third and will be Algeria’s biggest threat going forward. Slimani’s five goals in the qualifying rounds were key for Algeria’s narrow wins.

The Sporting Lisbon star is tall and powerful in the air and will be up against the imposing figure of Vincent Kompany.

Skipper Madjid Bougherra is no doubt one of Algeria’s best assets. The defender played a crucial role in the team’s qualification for the World Cup and will need to put in a solid performance against the ever impressive Lukaku.

Betting Prediction: BELGIUM (-1) handicap 5/4
The likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin Miralles and Romelu Lukaku will be too much to handle and the Red Devils should breeze past the Algerians in this fixture. Belgium are priced up at 9/20 for the win but the win on the handicap has some value at 5/4 and is worth a punt.

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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