Team Analysis: Belgium18th Jun 2016 |
|Best results in international competitions:||World cup fourth place 1986. Euro runners-up 1980|
|Fierce rivals:||France, Netherlands|
|Odds to win the Euros:|
The rise of the Belgian national team has been clear for many years, and many experts have pointed out this championship as the one where Belgium can get their proper breakthrough. But a bad season for many of the players might have a bad effect.
Goalkeeper: Belgium has not just one, but two goalkeepers of very high quality. Thibaut Courtois and Simon Mignolet are the first choice of Liverpool and Chelsea. The only team that might match Belgium’s pair of goalkeepers is Spain.
Defence: This was predicted to become the strongest link in Belgium some years ago with some great talent. But for different reasons, the development of this position hasn’t been quite as good as expected. Belgium’s defence is good, but not great.
Midfield: One of the most offensive midfields in the entire championship. Marouane Fellaini represents the most eye catching exception from this, as he has some good defensive qualities and is more of a playmaker than an attacker.
Forwards: This should be the strongest link in the Belgian team. Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne had decent seasons for Everton and Manchester City, but many of them also had very disappointing seasons. This is especially true for Eden Hazard, the Belgian captain.
We should be careful to put too much emphasis on the opening game, but if Belgium’s achievements against Italy represents the level we can expect to see from them, then this championship might be a big disappointment for everyone who put Belgium up there as one of the favourites. Considering the bad form that a lot of their players has shown this season, I think Belgium will come closer to being one of the disappointments of the Euro 2016.