Host nation Russia will continue their preparations for next year’s World Cup when they welcome Belgium to Sochi for a high profile friendly match on Tuesday.
Stanislav Cherchesov’s men fell to a 2-0 defeat against the Ivory Coast last Friday but are available at 2/1 (3.00) with Paddy Power to bounce straight back by coming out on top here.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Greece in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier, but are 5/4 (2.25) favourites to return to winning ways at the Fisht Stadium.
That draw was a second in three games for the guests, who can be backed at 21/10 (3.10) to play out another stalemate in this one.
Tasked with reaching the World Cup semi-finals after taking over from Leonid Slutsky following a disappointing Euro 2016 campaign, Cherchesov now finds himself under severe pressure following three defeats in four friendly matches.
However, the blame is not being laid solely at the former Legia Warsaw manager’s door, with some suggesting the domestic league’s relatively recently introduced limit on foreign players has only reduced the competitive quality of native talent.
In contrast to the crisis-stricken hosts, visiting manager Roberto Martinez is blessed with a squad chosen from what is generally considered a golden generation of talent, with almost every player plying their trade at the top level of European football.
Having lost to Qatar, Costa Rica and the Ivory Coast within their last four fixtures, it is difficult to see the demoralised Sbornaya coping with the step-up in quality when they take on their star-studded guests.
All things considered, those 5/4 (2.25) odds seem rather generous on the talented Belgians providing yet more cause for Russian introspection by coming out on top in a one-sided friendly encounter.
|Belgium to win at 11/10 (2.10) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power|