For bargain hunters wanting quality at a fair price Belgium could be the ticket. There is no shortage of World Class talent on the team roster. A deep run with the World Cup betting odds is in fact expected. Problematic is the results have yet to equal the hype. The highly touted “Golden Age” of Belgian football has produced nothing substantive. The Red Devils have been all promise. But nothing in the way of hardware for an empty trophy case. Pressure is on full blast for this team to finally deliver the goods.
2018 FIFA World Cup Belgium
Date and Time: June 14 through July 15, 2018
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: Check Listings
Historically Belgium has been an unfulfilled promise. Their best World Cup finish was fourth back in 1985. They failed to even qualify in 2006 and 2010. But a sixth-place finish in 2014 has set expectations through the roof. Qualification added fuel to the fire. Belgium was unbeaten with 28 points in 10 matches. Led by record setting goal scorer Romelu Lukaku they tallied 48 goals. However, a 3-3 draw in a friendly vs. Mexico ignited the ire of fans. And head coach Robert Martinez drew heat even from his own players. Kevin De Bruyne decried Martinez’s tactics.
Martinez took over the team two years ago. He replaced Marc Wilmots who was fired after a 3-1 loss to Wales in the Euro Championship. Wilmots paid the price for losing with the top ranked team. Martinez is a 44-year-old Spaniard. Defensive tactics have become a major concern of his tenure. As was the cut of Radja Nainggolan. Cutting a potential World Cup betting odds asset like Nainggolan triggered further drama. Martinez is coaching for his job in this tournament.
They Still got the Skills
Despite the recent negativity this is a skilled team. Most sportsbook experts pick them the fourth best in the tournament. Only Germany, Spain, and Brazil are rated higher. In fact, there is enough talent here to overcome any tactical blunders in most matches. Not to mention overcoming defensive shortcomings.
Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne is just such a player. Without question he is of World Class top shelf caliber. And with that he bears the responsibility of the team. De Bruyne posted eight goals and 16 assists for Man City in the Premier League. His impact goes beyond the scoresheet. Defenses are so focused on him that teammates get opportunities that open. Passing ability is another weapon in his arsenal. Few are more accurate. His vision helps make him among the most creative of players.
Matchup to Watch
The June 28 match with England is key in Group G. The Three Lions own the head to head series with Belgium. England is a small favorite with the World Cup betting odds. If ever Belgium would prevail it would have to be this year. Especially with the English in transition as a team.
2018 FIFA World Cup Betting Odds Picks
Belgium never quite lives up to the hype. This is their peak opportunity. The window will close after this year. Again, expect them to fall short.
World Cup Betting Online Pick: England to defeat Belgium
Check out a preview on Belgium!