After a German dismantling of a formidable Portuguese squad, we move to an impressive 4-1 to begin our World Cup wagers. While the Portuguese remain a dangerous squad, Germany proved their class on Monday afternoon, making that even money price seem like quite the gift.
Today we move on to perhaps the most intriguing team of the tournament in the Belgians. So much hype and fanfare has surrounded Belgium in the lead-up to Brazil 2014, with a plethora of experts dubbing them as ‘darkhorses.’ While they possess an abundance of individual talent, it means nothing if you can’t live up to the hype. Qualifying and the friendlies before the World Cup went smoothly, and their real test begins today against the Algerians.
Nobody is really expecting much from Belgium’s first opponent in Brazil. The Algerians are partaking in their fourth-ever World Cup and will be looking to finally advance to the knockout stage for the very first time. Despite them qualifying, they’ve done so against vastly inferior opposition. As weak as their group is in Brazil, all of Belgium, Russia, and South Korea represent legitimate threats, and the Algerians will do well to avoid a last-place finish. For all of their youth and mobility, this is a squad that’s not quite there yet.
Belgium vs. Algeria Betting Odds:
Belgium (-250) / Draw (+375) / Algeria (+700)
Over 2.5 (-150) / Under 2.5 (+130)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Belgium vs. Algeria Prediction:
Finally after weeks and weeks of hoopla surrounding this Belgian squad, they’ll finally take to the pitch, and the Algerians will likely be the unfortunate recipients of statement-sending match. Many have hand-picked the Belgians to do some real damage in Brazil despite not being one of the traditional footballing powerhouses. Despite this, Belgium possesses loads of talent and skill at all positions, and finding a weakness on this squad is virtually impossible. Belgium have been raring to go for a while and look for them to get out to a flying start against an overmatched Algerian squad.
The real strength of the Belgians lies in their absolutely lethal front four. Romelu Lukaku up front, with Eden Hazard, Kevin Mirallas, and Kevin De Bruyne playing off of the big striker is a quartet as good as anyone’s, and it remains to be seen how the centre of Algeria’s defense will be able to cope. Algeria will certainly be ecstatic with a draw in this fixture, but don’t count on it. As defensive as they’ll look to play, the Belgians will be able to run all over a slow Algerian duo of Medjani and Bougherra at the back.
Even though Belgium certainly does not possess the pedigree of great footballing nations, they’ve been every bit as good in the recent play leading up to Brazil 2014. They only conceded four goals in all of qualifying, and their form and flair in attack will propel them to big things this World Cup. Algeria ultimately are too young and inexperienced to shock a team with the talent of Belgium. They possess the fewest combined caps of any team in the tournament, and you have to wonder about their cohesion and familiarity with one another.
Algeria play with both spirit and pride, and while they won’t roll over and succumb to a romp, a comfortable and in-control Belgian win surely looms on Tuesday. Belgium is too solid at the back, and too skilled up front to not take advantage of inferior opposition. A 2-0 scoreline seems fitting in this one. As a result, look for Belgium on the -1 line offered at the majority of sportsbooks.
PICK = Belgium -1 (-140)