After being embarrassed in their opening group game by a sensational Italy side, Belgium will be hunting down their first three points at Euro 2016. Their opponents the Republic of Ireland dominated Sweden in a 1-1 draw, but much like England, their clinicality cost them dearly. Robbie Keane may be given his chance to grace the big stage once again, in search of those crucial goals.
The pressure will be on ‘The Red Devils’, but despite the shocking display early on, they remain heavy favourites against the Irish. Martin O’Neill’s side have odds of around 4/1 to pick up a victory, while a stalemate is nicely poised at 5/2.
I expect Belgium boss Marc Wilmots to overhaul his starting lien-up, therefore it is difficult to predict scorers. Therefore, you can get enhanced odds on both Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku to open the scoring, both priced at 11/2. You can get veteran LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane to score a brace at 33/1, this may be worth a pop given the 35-year-old’s immaculate record.
It is certain the both sides have the attacking talent, and statistically both rear-guards are also in good shape. This is a tough tie to call given Belgium’s rocky start.
Safe Bet – Both teams to score 13/10
Long Shot – Robbie Keane to score twice – 33/1
|Republic of Ireland (4-3-1-2)||Belgium (4-3-3)|
|Darren Randolph||Thibaut Courtois|
|Seamus Coleman||Thomas Meunier|
|John O’Shea||Jan Vertonghen|
|Ciaran Clark||Toby Alderweireld|
|Robbie Brady||Thomas Vermaelen|
|James McCarthy||Moussa Dembele|
|Jeff Hendrick||Axel Witsel|
|David Meyler||Marouane Fellaini|
|Wes Hoolahan||Eden Hazard|
|Robbie Keane||Kevin De Bruyne|
|Shane Long||Christian Benteke|
All odds correct at time of publishing, odds found at Oddschecker.com