Belgium vs Russia World Cup 2014 match preview: Marc Wilmots turns up the heat on Fabio Capello

 

The Belgian manager Marc Wilmots has piled the pressure on Russia ahead of the two nations’ clash in Rio de Janeiro, insisting that Fabio Capello’s side had everything to do and that his own players can afford to be patient.

LIVE: Follow the latest news from Day 11, including  Russia v Belgium, South Korea v Algeria and USA v Portugal

Russia’s poor start to the tournament – a 1-1 draw with South Korea – has put the national side and Capello under pressure in Moscow. The Russians expected better, with a poll before the tournament finding that a fifth of the population actually thought their country could win this competition. Wilmots’ Belgian team started unconvincingly, too, against Algeria but they did come through to win the game, thanks to substitute Marouane Fellani who is expected to start instead of Tottenham Hotspur’s Nacer Chadli.

“Russia must win and they are the team under pressure so we must be patient,” Wilmots said. “Russia need the win more than we do.” He defended his team selection against the Algerians, which did not work and – to the surprise of many on the Belgian camp – insisted all had been good against the North Africans.

 

“Against Algeria everything was fine,” he said. “When you don’t give the opponent an opportunity and you have six good opportunities, it’s a good game. It’s difficult to play against a [five-man defensive] block like Algeria.”

Romelu Lukaku said that his side’s stuttering performance was a result of nerves and suggested that Fellani starting behind him would make the Belgians more slick. “It is always better for me when Fellaini plays. He is another player who can give power and presence in the box,” he said. “The defender has an eye for Fellani and that then creates space for me.”

The rescue job accomplished by Zenit striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov against the South Koreans might have earned himself a spot at Fabio Capello’s starting line-up.

Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
filmDheepan, film review
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
News
Tattoo enthusiast Cammy Stewart poses for a portrait during the Great British Tattoo Show
In picturesThe Great British Tattoo Show
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?