Belgium play host to Czech Republic in an international friendly fixture in Brussels on Monday night.
Roberto Martinez’s men are top of their World Cup qualification section, having picked up 13 points from their first five fixtures and the Red Devils are widely expected to consolidate their position at the summit of Group G when they travel to Tallinn to face Estonia on Friday, having enjoyed an 8-1 win against the Estonians on home soil back in November.
Czech Republic face a ferocious fight with Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan in the battle for the runners-up spot in Group C, with World Cup holders Germany seemingly set to top that section. The Czechs made a shaky start to their bid to reach Russia, collecting just two points from their first three matches, but back-to-back wins against Norway and San Marino respectively mean that Karel Jarolim’s men are back in contention.
Both teams are in decent form ahead of this fixture, for Belgium have gone seven matches without defeat and Martinez’s men are chalked up as dabblebet’s 4/9 (1.44) favourites to make home advantage count with a win in this one. There is 16/5 (4.20) that the match ends all square – a selection that would have seen punters profit from three of the Red Devils’ last four fixtures.
Czech Republic, of course, crashed out of the European Championships at the group stage before making that unconvincing start to their bid to reach Russia, but three wins from their last four fixtures has seen Jarolim’s side restore some confidence and the visitors will be determined to maintain momentum ahead of next weekend’s vital World Cup qualifier against Norway in Oslo. 6/1 (7.0) is available that the Czechs claim victory in Brussels.
Belgium were beaten by Spain on home soil back in September, but that is the only defeat that the Red Devils have suffered in their last 17 home matches and Martinez’s men will be determined to ensure that they claim a confidence-boosting result against the Czechs.
All but one of Belgium’s last 11 home victories has been by a margin of at least two goals and, given the remarkable talent that the Red Devils can call upon in the final third of the pitch, Martinez’s men could well find themselves amongst the goals again in this game.
Jarolim’s men have conceded in 11 of their last 12 away matches – with their only clean sheet coming against San Marino – and the Red Devils are certainly capable of exploiting any weakness in the away side’s defensive unit.
With that in mind, the 11/10 (2.10) quote on offer for Belgium to win a match that features at least three goals could represent decent value – the selection would have landed in each of the last 10 home wins that the Red Devils have recorded.