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Friendly International: Portugal vs Belgium preview

Kickoff: Tuesday, 29 March @19:45 GMT

Venue: Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa (Leiria)

Live Stream: fuboTV (US), bet365 (non-US)

Head to head record

Belgium vs Portugal 1-2 (2008 Euro qualifiers)
Portugal vs Belgium 4-0 (2008 Euro qualifiers)
Belgium vs Portugal 1-1 (2000 Friendlies)
Belgium vs Portugal 3-0 (1990 Euro qualifiers)
Portugal vs Belgium 1-1 (1990 Euro qualifiers)

Portugal vs Belgium prediction

Due to the terrorist attacks in Brussels, the game between Belgium and Portugal was originally canceled, but Portuguese officials offered to host the match, so we will have the opportunity to watch a top-flight clash this Tuesday night. Marc Wilmots’ charges will be looking for their first triumph in Iberia, while the Seleccao want to make amends for the defeat against Bulgaria.

Portugal struggle on home soil of late

Vladisalv Stoyanov and Marcelino were Bulgaria’s heroes in their magnificent victory in Leiria (1-0). Former Brazil Under-20 international and Ludogorets’ playmaker Marcelinho netted the opener after Pepe’s mistake, while his teammate from Ludogorets stopped Ronaldo’s penalty and denied Portugal the leveler. Thus Portugal recorded a third defeat in their last four home fixtures. The Seleccao netted a single goal on home soil in the spell and the lack of efficiency worries the fans, but Fernando Santos believes his squad are reserving goals for the final tournament in France. Cristiano Ronaldo and his team mates do create lots of opportunities for goals in their matches, they do have a player who nets more than 40 goals per season and bearing in mind that Belgium arrive shaken by the terrorist attack and without their two main stoppers, Kompany and Vertongen, I truly believe the Portuguese will find the back on the net at least once.

Benfica’s Renato Sanches made his debut for Portugal against Bulgaria, and he will probably be given a chance once again. Zenit’s Danny, Ricardo Quaresma of Besiktas and Jose Fonte from Southampton are all pushing for a start. Tiago Mendes is injured, as well as Joao Moutinho and Fabio Coentrao, hence they are not in the squad.

Belgium without the main quartet

Marc Wilmots stated he wanted the game to be played in Brussels despite the terrorist attacks, but the officials were not prepared for such a risk, which is why, in the end, Leiria will host the forthcoming clash. De Rode Duivels hope to record their first ever win in Portugal (D3 L1) and to end the Seleccao’s winning run in mutual matches. The Red Devils have been outstanding in the last several years, which led them to the first place in FIFA World ranking, leaving behind the likes of Argentina, Spain and Germany. Wilmots’ charges suffered mere two defeats in their last twenty three matches and have been scoring for fun in recent matches, so I do expect them to continue scoring goals this time out. Even though they are not as effective when playing on the road, Belgium forwards failed to score only twice in their previous sixteen away fixtures, and despite the fact that Hazard and De Bruyne, who were highly productive of late, are sidelined, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens and even Marouane Fellaini are more than capable of hitting the net.

Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Jan Vertongen will miss the game with Portugal due to their injuries. Bjorn Engels received a call to replace Kompany, Thorgan Hazard is back in the squad to cover for De Bruyne’s position, while Kevin Mirallas was left out of the team. Axel Witsel will be the captain this time out, due to absence of Kompany, Hazard and Vertongen.

Quick Facts

  • Belgium lost just two of their last twenty three matches (W18 D3)
  • A Seleccao won just once in their previous four home fixtures
  • Mark Wilmots’ scharges never triumphed in Portugal
  • Three of their four games on Iberia ended in a 1-1 draw
  • De Rode Duivels almost never fail to score on their travels

Portugal vs Belgium betting tip

Both Portugal and Belgium are filled with quality forwards who can produce a spectacle for the fans. Portugal never failed to score a single goal in two consecutive matches, so they will most certainly find the net this time out. Belgium rarely miss the opportunity to hit a goal or two on their travels, so I will put my money on both teams to score.

Tip: Both teams to score – yes

Odds: 2.00 (1/1) @BetVictor

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