Belgium vs Russia: World Cup 2014 match preview

A look ahead to the second fixture of Group H

Belgium are set to face Russia at the Maracana stadium where both teams are looking to gain a substantial advantage at a very open group. The Belgians will be looking for a win that will definitely send them to the next round but anything less could set Group H on fire.

LIVE: Follow the latest news from Russia v Belgium

The Red Devils’ manager Marc Wilmots is expected to make a few changes in his starting line-up after his side struggled to beat Algeria. Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini is expected to start instead of Tottenham Hotspur’s Nacer Chadli and Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen could replace Daniel Van Buyten.

Captain Vincent Kompany is suffering from a minor groin strain and it is unclear whether Wilmots will start another striker or maintain trust on Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku who was ineffective last week.

Russia failed to impress against South Korea and a blunder by goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev almost cost them the match. Eventually, Zenit striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov bailed his side out and might have earned himself a spot at Fabio Capello’s starting line-up.

KICK-OFF: Sunday, 5pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS:

Russia 0 Belgium 2 (Lukaku 2), International Friendly, November 2010

Belgium 3 (Walem, Sonck, Wilmots) Russia 2 (Beschastnykh, Sychev), World Cup, June 2002

Belgium 0 Russia 0, International Friendly, April 1996

STATS:

Russia have never beaten Belgium whereas the latter have won two out of their three meetings.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has never experienced international defeat but has instead contributed in 11 wins and seven draws. Atletico Madrid’s on-loan stopper kept 10 clean sheets in 18 matches.

Belgium have only won two of their last 10 World Cup matches and lost three. They have only kept one clean sheet in the same amount of games.

The Red Devils are undefeated in their last two World Cup group stages, which took place in 1998 and 2002.

Russia have scored all of their last eight World Cup goals after half-time.

Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev’s blunder last week took place on the same day, just a few hours earlier, as Rob Green’s gaffe four years ago when Fabio Capello was his manager.

ODDS:

Belgium to win: Evens

Russia to win: 16.5

Draw: 5.2

TV: Live on BBC One at 5pm

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders