Gareth Southgate’s England will need to make up the ground they lost in their UEFA Nations League group last month. Victory over Belgium at Wembley had put them on top but the Three Lions’ inconsistencies continued to haunt them with the home defeat to Denmark. On Sunday, they are looking to do the double over Roberto Martinez’s star-studded side in Leuven. It certainly won’t be an easy task, especially given Conor Coady has had to leave the squad and Marcus Rashford will also miss out. It still promises to be an interesting game though so check out my Nations League predictor preview for Belgium vs. England as we try to take down the £10,000 Pick 8. If you agree with my Nations League predictor picks then join my Syndicate.
Nations League Predictor – Belgium vs. England
What will the correct score be?
There are a number of factors that have been taken into consideration ahead of this game. Belgium are favourites on paper, and their home record stands as impenetrable, having not lost in their own back yard under Martinez. It’ll take something very special for England to repeat their success from a few weeks ago. Youri Tielemans presence in the midfield will give the home side an edge in midfield, and when England are overrun centrally against top teams, it rarely ends well.
We’ve backed a low scoring 1-1 draw but are stacking the deck in favour of Belgium with two potential home wins, 2-1 or ‘other’. Their last three games, including against England, have ended 2-1, which is why we have flipped it by backing an away win by that score too. England’s concession of just two goals in six games, and four clean sheets, is why we have placed 0-1 on the ticket.
Selections – 2-1, Other Home Win, 1-1, 0-1, 1-2
Will a penalty be taken?
Penalties seem likely in almost every game which involves VAR. It was the case when these sides last met, when Romelu Lukaku and Rashford scored at either end. Christian Eriksen netted from 12 yards as England lost to Denmark. Most recently, on Thursday night, Dominic Calvert-Lewin took one to wrap up England’s 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland. Recent trends suggest it is a good bet, but we think a safety line on ‘no’ is also sensible.
Selections – Yes and No
Will a red card be shown?
Neither England nor Belgium are particularly aggressive and they don’t exactly play on the edge. Tough tackling is unlikely to be a feature in this game, and despite England ending with nine against Denmark, we think both will finish the game as they started.
Selection – No
Will a goal be scored in the first half?
After scoring one late goal in two matches during September, England have seen first half goals either for or against them in their last four games. It is three games in succession for Belgium, albeit they needed a second half comeback to beat Switzerland last week. Despite their traditional strength at home, they could be susceptible to the threat of England’s pace; this game is likely to race out of the blocks.
Selection – Yes
How many corners will be taken by Belgium?
Belgium’s width is impressive, and they have a powerful presence up front in Lukaku. They registered just three against Switzerland but seven against Iceland. We are adding two lines here because of that inconsistency.
Selections – 3/4 or 5/6
How many corners will be taken by England?
Harry Maguire’s header against Ireland was a throwback to the 2018 World Cup, when England were viewed as a real danger from set pieces. This is one area Southgate may target to get the better of Belgium.
Selections – 5/6
How many cards will be shown to Belgium?
Cards haven’t been a common theme for Belgium of late; they have picked up just one per game, including at Wembley. This is the sort of market that is tough to call, but there could be more in it for them this time.
Home Cards – 3
How many cards will be shown to England?
England picked up three yellows and two reds against Denmark. Whilst I wouldn’t expect quite the safe level of ill-discipline in a match that could well decide their fate in the group, at least a couple of cards remains likely. We’ll select three to round of the Nations League predictor.
Away Cards – 3
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