Belgium v Portugal Betting Tips & Preview – Saturday 2nd June 2018

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Previous Match Tips

Two contenders for this summer’s World Cup go head to head this weekend as they prepare for the elite tournament in Russia. Portugal will arrive as the European champions although at odds of 25/1, they aren’t well fancied to secure back to back major titles.

Belgium have a long unbeaten streak to preserve ahead of this friendly which is the first of three warm-up matches they have scheduled before the World Cup. The Red Devils haven’t lost since September 2016 and can extend their undefeated run to 17 matches this weekend.

Top Tips

Belgium to win @ 19/20

Belgium to win with -1 handicap @ 13/5

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

Belgium Form

After sailing through the World Cup qualifying stages, Belgium have been involved in three friendlies, with just the one coming in 2018. The two prior to this saw them take on Mexico and Japan on home soil. Romelu Lukaku scored two in the entertaining 3-3 draw with Mexico as well as the sole goal in the narrow win over Japan. It’s been 21 months since the Red Devils last failed to score and the Man United striker has played a large part in that. In his last six appearances for the national side, Lukaku has netted himself an impressive 10 goals.

Belgium organised just the one friendly in March and this saw them take on fellow World Cup qualifiers, Saudi Arabia. Roberto Martinez named a strong side for the contest and it showed as his men tore through their Middle East opponents with some ease. Lukaku along with Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne were the standout players, all playing a pivotal role in at least one of their side’s four goals. Another clean sheet will have pleased Martinez too, who has now see his men shutout the opposition on three of the last four occasions.

MatchDateScoreResult
Belgium v Saudi Arabia 27th March 2018 4-0 Win
Belgium v Japan 14th November 2017 1-0 Win
Belgium v Mexico 10th November 2017 3-3 Draw

Portugal Form

Portugal booked their place in this summer’s World Cup by beating top of the table Switzerland during the final group game. They followed this up with another strong showing in a friendly against Saudi Arabia even without the services of Cristiano Ronaldo. Performances since though haven’t been as impressive. In the 1-1 draw with the USA, the Portuguese did have the excuse that they were only playing at half strength but stronger sides have been named by Fernando Santos in more recent friendlies.

Portugal secured victory over Egypt in March but they could have hardly done it in more last gasp style. They were trailing in the 92nd minute but that man Ronaldo popped up twice to secure a win which rather papered over the cracks of a fairly lacklustre showing from his teammates. They were unable to hide their flaws against the Dutch three days later however in a 3-0 defeat, their biggest loss since 2014. Things were hardly any better on Monday night when Santos’ men drew at home to Tunisia after squandering a 2-0 lead.

MatchDateScoreResult
Portugal v Tunisia 28th May 2018 2-2 Draw
Portugal v Netherlands 26th March 2018 0-3 Loss
Portugal v Egypt 23rd March 2018 2-1 Win

Head to Head Stats

Portugal have bested Belgium in their last three encounters with Ronaldo converting in two of the matches. Lukaku also got himself on the scoresheet when the sides last met but there’s a danger he won’t have the chance to repeat this on Saturday.

DateHomeScoreAwayResultCompetition
29th Mar 2016 Portugal 2 - 1 Belgium Portugal Friendly
2nd Jun 2007 Belgium 1 - 2 Portugal Portugal Euro Qualification
24th Mar 2007 Portugal 4 - 0 Belgium Portugal Euro Qualification

Injuries & Suspensions

Rui Patricio, Bruno Fernandes and Gelson Martins were all handed a rest against Tunisia after playing in the Portuguese Cup final but could return here.

Belgium

  • Thomas Vermaelen - Is yet to return to training and unlikely to feature.
  • Jordan Lukaku - Also wasn’t able to make training on Tuesday.
  • Romelu Lukaku - Wasn’t fit enough to start FA Cup final and still isn’t 100%.

Portugal

  • Cristiano Ronaldo - Likely to be rested here after playing in CL final last Saturday.
  • Danilo Pereira - Ruptured Achilles tendon has ruled him out of the World Cup.

Betting Tips

Coming into the World Cup with a long unbeaten streak will give Belgium plenty of belief and it’s hard to see their run ending here.

Belgium to win

Portugal are often a far weaker side without Ronaldo and his absence was fairly noticeable in the draw with Tunisia earlier in the week. The Real Madrid star is not set to feature much in this game and this will help give the advantage to the hosts, who have won eight of their last nine matches. Belgium have the superior form, the better side on paper and home advantage to boot. At 19/20 they are exceptionally well priced to get the job done in Brussels.

Belgium -1 Goal Handicap

Portugal were brushed aside the last time they faced decent European opposition and it wouldn’t be a shock to see the same happen here. Belgium are capable of putting on a show with the quality they have in their squad and their ability to score could see them win with a degree of comfort. In their last five matches, the Red Devils have scored 16 times. Romelu Lukaku has been responsible for six of these but the Belgians will still carry a goal threat if he’s not fit to feature.

Both Teams to Score

When faced with stronger opposition such as Mexico, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Czech Republic, the Red Devils have failed to register a clean sheet. It’s one thing to keep the likes of Cyprus and Saudi Arabia at bay but even a Ronaldo-less Portugal should fine a way through here, even if it’s just a consolation strike.

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