Belgium and Russia are going to face each other today at Maracana stadium. Both teams are looking for a win, with Belgium being more favourite of archiving that.Both teams come from a positive performance , Belgium archived a hard win vs Algeria , meanwhile Russia took a draw vs South Korea. A win for the Belgians , will send them on the next round of the tournament.
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Marc Wilmots is expected to make some changes at the starting line-up since his side failed to perform well at the first 60minutes of the game vs Algeria.
Manchester United midfielder , Fellaini is expected to start from the first minute at todays match. He put in a great performance vs Algeria where he scored a stunning header. Fellaini is expected to replace the Tottenham midfielder , Nacer Chadli.
There are going to be some changes in defense too. Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is expected to replace Van Buyten. Belgium captain Vincent Kompany is in doubt for this match since he’s suffering from a minor groin strain and Marc Wilmots is in doubt if starting him or not.
Another doubt for the belgium coach is wich striker will play from the first minute. Lukaku put in a very poor performance last match until he was replaced by Divock Origi.
Marc Wilmots admits that his team is considered as a strong rival from the other big teams of the competition, and his team needs to be focused and patient.He also talk about his respect and consideration for Fabio Capello.
“We play dominant and we always try to win,” said Wilmots. “Teams respect Belgium now. If we will play against a wall, we have to learn to be patient.
“It could be a very tactical match [against Russia]. Capello has a great track record at some great clubs and we will see what his approach is on the pitch. We saw Russia play Korea in quite a rigid formation but we will wait to see against us. The most important thing for us is we have to shut down space.”
Belgium Possible line up :
4-2-3-1 : Thibaut Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembélé, Axel Witsel; Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Fellaini; Romelu Lukaku.
Russia failed to put a good performance at their first match vs South Korea where they draw 1-1. Their Goalkeeper , Igor Akinfeev almost costed them the match , but Zenit striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov saved their day.
Russia’s Denis Glushakov and Aleksei Kozlov looked ahead to their World Cup Group H match against Belgium at the Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, on Sunday (KO 17:00 BST).
Fabio Capello admits that his team can put in better performances and they may be considered as favourites.He added :”This team has the willpower, they can play at the top-level. At half-time I asked the players to act more confidently and show their best qualities. The players followed my words, that’s the most important thing.”
Russia possible line up
4-3-3: Igor Akinfeev; Dmitri Kombarov, Sergei Ignashevich, Aleksei Berezutski, Andrey Yeshchenko; Viktor Fayzulin, Denis Glushakov, Oleg Shatov; Yuri Zhirkov, Aleksandr Kokorin, Aleksandr Samedov.
Belgium and Russia faced 8 times each other, where Russia is ahead with 1 win. [4 wins Russia , 3 wins Belgium , 1 draw].
Thibaut Courtois has never experienced international defeat, he kept 10 clean sheets in 18 matches.
Belgium won the last game vs Russia , a friendly game in November 2010.