Belgium vs Russia preview: How to watch, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Image by NurPhoto via Getty Images

Russia have the home advantage as they play Belgium in St Petersburg in their Euro 2020 tournament opener at The Gazprom Arena

Roberto Martinez and his Red Devils have their eyes set firmly on the trophy, whilst Russia will probably be fighting Denmark for that second place finish. 

Both of the sides had excellent qualification campaigns, finishing first and second in the same group. Belgium took 30 points from 30, whilst the Russians took 24 points from 30.

Either team had a win and a draw in their warm-up matches, and come into this summers Euros in similar form. 

  • Team News 

Belgium are set to be without the ever influential Kevin De Bruyne as the Manchester City man sustained facial fractures in the Champions League final. Martinez will be hopeful he is available for their second game. 

Also, the Belgians are without Axel Witsel, who is also on the sidelines with an achilles injury picked up recently. Leandro Trossard and Dedryck Boyata should be available after missing their win against Croatia last time out.

Meanwhile for their opponents, veteran defensive gladiator Fedor Kudrayshov won't play the opener due to a calf problem, and with his age there is no point in risking him as it could be an injury that reoccurs. 

  • Predicted lineups 

Russia - 3-4-2-1:

Shunin; Barinov, Dzhikiya, Semenov; Fernandes, Zobnin, Ozdoev, Kuzyaev; Miranchuck, Golovin; Dzyuba.

Belgium - 3-4-3:

Courtois;Alderweireld, Denayer, Vertonghen; Castagne, Tielemans, Dedoncker, Carrasco; Mertens, Hazard, Lukaku.

  • Ones to watch

Artem Dyzuba - Russia 

Dyzuba leads the Russian frontline standing at 6'6, and after his late winner against Bulgaria last time out he will be up for the challenge of the number one ranked team in the world. 

This game is a chance for him to score his 30th international goal and to go level with all-time top goalscorer Aleksandr Kerzhakov

The 32-year-old is such a powerful player with a physical force not to be messed with, he could prove to be a menace for the Belgium defence. 

Youri Tielemans - Belgium

The Fa Cup winner Youri Tielemans has one of the toughest jobs on the field with the absense of De Bruyne - who is usually by his side. It's likely the Leicester City man will have to do the job of two playmakers. However, this shouldn't be a problem for the 24-year-old who's had his best season to date in the East Midlands.

His vision and passing can be key to the success of the Red Devils this summer, picking the play from left to right. 

He's hard to deal with and with the help of his Foxes team mate Timothy Castagne, they could end of being one of the most dangerous combos in the tournament. 

  • Previous meetings

The last time the sides met, was in 2019 in the qualfiers for the finals. they met twice that year, with Belgium winning 3-1 and 4-1. Infact, Russia have never actually beat them - in seven attempts. 

  • How to watch 

In the UK, the game kicks off at 20:00 BST and it's being shown live on ITV1.