Belgium look to build more momentum

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Belgium-VS-Tunisia

Belgium will look to build more momentum in the 2018 World Cup when they take on Tunisia in a Group G clash at the Otkritie Stadium in Moscow, set for Saturday, June 23, kick-off at 14h00 CAT.

Belgium got their campaign off to a great start on Monday evening, trouncing debutants Panama 3-0 in Sochi thanks to goals from Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku (two). The result sees the ‘Red Devils’ at the top of the pool on three points.

Coach Roberto Martinez will have been pleased at the display, though marginally concerned that his side was unable to find a way through the ‘Los Canaleros’ defence through all of the first half. Yet once the deadlock was broken, Belgium looked far more fluid and comfortable.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 21 : Toby Alderweireld defender of Belgium and Youri Tielemans midfielder of Belgium and Axel Witsel midfielder of Belgium during a training session as part of the preparation prior to the FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia group G phase match between Belgium and Tunisia at the Guchkova Sports center in Dedovsk on June 21, 2018 in Moscow, Russia, 21/06/2018 ( Photo by Jimmy Bolcina / Photonews via Getty Images)
The Belgium team seemed relaxed at training ahead of their match against Tunisia on the weekend

They will probably need to be patient again when they tackle Tunisia, a side with a reputation for being well-organised in defence. Yet despite this, the North Africans succumbed 2-1 in their opening game against England in Volgograd.

Harry Kane scored both of England’s goals at corner kick scenarios, while Tunisia’s strike came from Ferjani Sassi’s debatable penalty.

Coach Nabil Maaloul will want to see his side improve on their defending at set plays, while it’s also likely that goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mutspaha will start the game after replacing the injured Mouez Hassen.

The ‘Carthage Eagles’ will need more from their midfield and attack, in particular, Wahbi Khazri. The attacker has only just come back from injury and looked sluggish against England – hopefully, he has blown out the cobwebs and will be back to top form for the clash with the Belgians.

VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA - JUNE 18: Ferjani Sassi of Tunisia is congratulated by Yassine Meriah of Tunisiaa after he scores a penalty during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between Tunisia and England at Volgograd Arena on June 18, 2018 in Volgograd, Russia. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA – JUNE 18: Ferjani Sassi of Tunisia is congratulated by Yassine Meriah of Tunisiaa after he scores a penalty during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between Tunisia and England at Volgograd Arena on June 18, 2018 in Volgograd, Russia. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The European danger men can be found in their three-pronged attack: Mertens, Lukaku and Eden Hazard. While the latter was the only one not to score a goal against Panama, he still provided an assist and gave a demonstration of his running power – something Tunisia’s backline will need to keep a close watch on.

Belgium VS Tunisa

In head-to-head terms, Belgium and Tunisia have met in three previous matches according to FIFA’s statistics database. The record is dead even: one win each, one draw, three goals scored apiece. Their one World Cup match was a 1-1 draw in Oita in 2002, while their most recent meeting saw Belgium win 1-0 in a friendly in Brussels in June 2014.

The extra class and attacking firepower of the ‘Red Devils’ should give them the edge over the ‘Carthage Eagles’ and propel them to a second straight win in Group G.

Belgium v Tunisia – head-to-head

Matches played 3
Belgium wins 1
Tunisia wins 1
Draws 1
Belgium goals 3
Tunisia goals 3