Belgium vs Russia: Can the Red Devils make an early Euro 2020 statement?

Belgium are one of the favourites to win Euro 2020, and they will be keen to make an early statement of intent against Russia.

When: Saturday June 12, 20:00 GMT

How to watch: ITV

Follow this game live via our score centre

Best bets

Belgium to win and both teams to score at 14/5

Belgium to score first at 4/7

Romelu Lukaku to score anytime 10/11

There is little doubt that Belgium are the strong favourites to progress in Group B, but they have a tricky opener to their Euro 2020 campaign.

Roberto Martinez's men qualified for the finals with a 100% record and a four goals per game average. However, playing Russia in St Petersburg is never an easy assignment.

Russia, meanwhile, will be looking at this one as something of a free swing with matches still to come against Denmark and Finland.

Now or never for brilliant Belgians?

The current Belgium team have carried with them the 'golden generation' tag for a while now, and they have slowly been getting closer to producing.

They were defeated semi-finalists at the World Cup in 2018, although many believe they were the best team in the competition and got a little unlucky.

Belgium manager, Roberto Martinez
Belgium manager, Roberto Martinez

Belgium has real star power in their line-up with names such as Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, and Kevin De Bruyne. What's more, they are now smack-bang in the middle of their peaks and producing around Europe for their clubs.

It is unlikely they will get a better chance of winning a major tournament given the climate at the World Cup in Qatar next year is unlikely to do them any favours.

Belgium squad

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet, Matz Sels

Defenders: Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen, Thomas Meunier, Jason Denayer, Dedryck Boyata, Leander Dendoncker, Timothy Castagne

Midfielders: Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Nacer Chadli, Yannick Carrasco, Youri Tielemans, Thorgan Hazard, Dennis Praet, Hans Vanaken

Forwards: Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Christian Benteke, Michy Batshuayi, Jeremy Doku, Leandro Trossard

Can Russia upset the odds?

Russia manager, Stanislav Cherchesov
Russia manager, Stanislav Cherchesov

Russia know plenty about how good this Belgium side is given they lost twice to them in qualifying.

They don't have the star power available that Belgium do, but they have home advantage. That certainly served them well at the 2018 World Cup in which a pretty poor team got to the last eight.

Coach Stanislav Cherchesov has overseen a bit of an uninspiring warm-up campaign, with a 1-1 draw against Poland followed by a 1-0 success against Bulgaria. On the plus side, they came through them without picking up injuries.

Russia squad

Goalkeepers: Yuri Dyupin, Matvei Safonov, Anton Shunin

Defenders: Georgi Dzhikiya, Igor Diveev, Yuri Zhirkov, Vyacheslav Karavaev, Fedor Kudryashov, Andrei Semenov, Mario Fernandes

Midfielders:Dmitri Barinov, Rifat Zhemaletdinov, Maksim Mukhin, Aleksandr Golovin, Daniil Fomin, Roman Zobnin, Alexei Ionov, Daler Kuzyayev, Andrei Mostovoy, Magomed Ozdoev, Denis Makarov, Aleksei Miranchuk, Denis Cheryshev

Forwards: Artem Dzyuba, Anton Zabolotny, Aleksandr Sobolev

International head-to-head

Belgium wins: 5

Draws: 2

Russian wins: 0

Goalscorer bets

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku
Belgium's Romelu Lukaku

Obviously, Inter Milan hitman Romelu Lukaku is going to be a real threat against anyone, and he has been proving that for many years now.

He is fresh off a successful Scudetto-winning campaign in Serie A, and the 28-year-old already has 60 goals for his country in just 93 appearances.

Unsurprisingly, he is the leading the betting to be the top scorer in the whole tournament. 

Russia have their own version, of sorts, too. Zenit striker Artem Dzyuba may be 32-years old now but he could well surpass Aleksandr Kerzhakov as his countries all-time top scorer this summer.

Dzyuba has scored 29 goals in 52 appearances for his country, and with him playing in his home club stadium, he could be a good man to back for the first goal.

READ MORE: Denmark's team ethic can help them top Group B ahead of ageing Belgium