Anyone who watches the English Premier League will be familiar with many of Belgium’s starting line up when they meet South Korea on June 26th in their first match. Touted as the ‘Golden Generation’ of Belgian football they qualified very easily with 26 points from their 10 matches.
Belgium did not qualify for the 2006 or 2010 World Cups but made the round of 16 in 1990 and 1994 and were beaten semi-finalists in 1986.
They have what looks to be a relatively easy group and it’s hard to see them failing to get out of it.
Russia will be looking for a good performance at this World Cup with the 2018 event, which they are due to host, no doubt on their minds too.
They won their qualifying group, consigning Portugal to the playoff, scoring 20 goals and conceding just 5 in the 10 matches.
Russia have very solid form over the past three years, losing just 3 times in their last 35 games.
As Russia they qualified for two previous World Cups, in 1994 and 2002. Both times they won one game and went out at the earliest possible stage. As the Soviet Union they went to 7 of 9 finals and only once went out in the group stages. They finished 4th in 1966.
Algeria have won 8, lost 1 and drawn 1 of their last 10 matches. If ears pricking up made a noise then I would have just heard it, from and by my own ears.
They play Belgium in their first game and that could be to their advantage as the Belgians will be under a lot of pressure to get off to a good start, and that could get to them.
Algeria played in their 3rd finals in 2010 but did not win a game, nor did they win one in 1986 but won twice in 1982 yet still went out in the 1st round.
They have a young squad who have nothing to lose and this could play in their favour against teams that could well be a bit cagey in the group stages.
I convinced myself that South Korea would take the world by storm at the last World Cup and had way too much of my hard earned on them at 200/1 to win the thing. They started well, beating Greece, and made it out of their group before losing to Uruguay. I will not be backing them to win it this time around..
South Korea finished 4th in the 2002 World Cup when they were the co-hosts and made the round of 16 in 2010. In total they’ve won 5 of 28 finals matches.
They have won 5 and lost 5 of their last 10 matches and won 4, drew 2 and lost 2 in qualifying.
Algeria to qualify at $6 with or