The Belgium vs Portugal match will the 4th game in the knockout rounds in Euro 2020. This match is scheduled to take place on June 27 at 2100 hrs Central European Summer Time at the Estadio de La Cartuja stadium in Seville, Spain.
Belgium Form, Predicted line up and Tactics
Belgium qualified for EURO 2020 in style by winning each of their 10 matches and conceding just 3 goals, the fewest conceded by any team in qualifying, except for Turkey, which also conceded just 3 goals.
Roberto Martinez has been the head coach of the Belgian National Team since 2016. Under Martinez, Belgium finished 3rd at the World Cup in 201 and have seen their longest run as number 1 by FIFA since September 2018.
Belgium has continued this fine form by winning all of its group stage games. Belgium are tied with Italy in the second spot for the most number of goals scored during the group stage.
Belgium also had 14 attempts on goal which is the 5th highest number of attempts on goals during the group stage of Euro 2020.
The Belgian team is well organized and well drilled. Belgium tends to play with a 3-4-3 formation that is more like a 3-2-4-1 in attack. Belgium likes to build up the game patiently, with one of the central defenders even rushing forward with the ball to help the game move forward.
Unsurprisingly, with a formation like this three centre-backs are used, one of which is a more ball-playing centre-back.
The wing backs are often very hard at work. One of them, usually the left wing, is more of an attacking fullback and more of a wide midfielder. This position is usually taken by Nacer Chadli or Thorgan Hazard, both of whom play on the left.
The other fullback is more of a defensive fullback. This position is usually filled by Timothy Castagne or Thomas Meunier.
This may leave a gap on the left for opposition teams to exploit, but Belgium has two talented defensive midfielders to counter this threat.
On to the midfield. Belgium plays a fairly defensive midfield consisting of 2 defensive midfielders who create opportunities from behind and help the central defenders. These positions are filled by Axel Witsel and Youri Tielemans or Yannick Carrasco.
The front three is where the magic happens for Belgium. Romelu Lukaku is the main striker and goalkeeper. He is strong and can fight for long balls and hold them for the rest of his teammates to attack him.
He is flanked by arguably one of the best attacking midfielders in the world, Kevin De Bruyne on the right, and one of the best attacking wingers in the world, Eden Hazard. Hazard tends to float in the penalty area, while De Bruyne is more of the creative force.
Hazard has not played many recent appearances for Belgium and many other talented strikers have started in his place, including Leandro Trossard, Michy Batshuayi and 19-year-old Jérémy Doku.
During the group stage in Euro 2020 Yannick Carrasco started in place of Eden Hazard for the first 2 games.
At the age of 34, Dries Mertens also starts a few matches and his experience helps to train younger attackers such as Doku.
How will Belgium Will Play Against Portugal
Belgium like to build up patiently from the back, Vertoghen and Alderweireld will drift a bit wide, Denayer will stay central while the wingbacks Thorgan Hazard and Meunier will push high, almost touching the edge of the field.
Belgium has a preference for attacking from the left. With Vertonghen forming a triangle with Thorgan Hazard and the left forward. The Midfielder (Dendoncker in this case) will try to joing this triangle if these players are outnumbered.
They will then look to either release Thorgan Hazard out wide or make a forward pass for the left sided forward into the box.
Portugal will try to cover all passing options on this side. In this case, Belgium will pass backward and switch play to the other side as you can see in the picture below
If the opposition defence is not quick enough to keep up with Belgium’s transition on the right this is what essentially happens…
De Bruyne drops a little deeper and looks to free Meunier quickly on the right who in turn tries to whip a cross into the box.
Meanwhile Thorgan Hazard makes a diagonal run into the box especially if Meunier breaks free on the right.
Dendoncker and Tielemans try to win the ball in this advanced positions when the defence tries to make clearances.
Tielemans is also a threat just outside the box because he is great at shooting from distance.
If De Bruyne can’t free Meunier, he plays quick passes with either him on the right or the players around him on the left and runs into the box to receive and either score or continue the move.
De Bruyne can also choose to shoot from distance or create through balls for the attackers on his left.
During an attack the 3 defenders also push high and then tuck inside when the attack is progressing.
Keep in mind that Belgium has other ways to attack such as hitting teams on the counter right from the middle. Something they could easily do with Portugal as their midfielders try to press Belgium which might leave spaces for Belgium to exploit for players to make line breaking passes into Portugal’s side of the field.
However, Belgium does have a weakness, one of which we mentioned earlier that they are vulnerable to counter attacks when the wide wingbacks move forward and don’t track back.
Portugal could whip in a long ball over Vertonghen and Alderweireld, both of whom are beginning to lose their pace.
How will Belgium Line up against Portugal
We expect Hazard to be given a start. If he doesn’t seem to perform well he might be taken off later and Carrasco will take his place. De Bryune was eased into the squad after a face injury he suffered during the champions league final.
Castagne is out injured so Meunier will definitely start.
Portugal Form, Predicted line up and Tactics
Portugal had been in fine form before their opening game in Euro 2020. They built on this form with their 3-0 thrashing of Hungary after losing 4-2 to Germany. The game against Germany highlighted a key weakness in Portugal’s tactics, their defensive discipline.
Germany would stretch the play wide which would put a lot of pressure on portugal backline. The midfielders would not track back quick enough which allowed Germany’s wide men to have the freedom to whip in crosses as they defenders were focused on marking the players inside the box.
Portugal seemed to have learned from this mistake with attackers falling back and trying to close the gap on the wings.
However, Portugal was still unsuccessful at defending well as a team. When they would press, they could not quickly close the gap that the pressing player would leave which allowed France to make key passess.
Portugal conceded 6 goals during these matches. Of all the teams that qualified for the round of 16 Portugal has conceded the most number of goals.
That being said, Portugal created a lot of chances. Portugal’s xG (a statistical measure of potential goals) during the game was 2.46 compared to France’s 1.73.
Portugal are tied with Belgium and Italy in the 2nd spot for the most goals scored during the group stage in Euro 2020.
But defensive frailties aside, let’s see how Portugal could play against Belgium.
How will Portugal play against Belgium
Usually Portugal play a 4-2-3-1 with 2 holding midfielders and 3 attacking mdifielders and 1 forward.
Portugal will try to employ the same tactics they used against France. This means that they would play with an extra man in midfield in a 4-3-3 formation which looks like 4-5-1 when Portugal don’t have the ball and are defending.
Portugal would be looking to hit Belgium on the counter and will do their best to protect themselves from attacks from wide areas.
The defence is likely to remain unchanged unless Semedo picks up an injury because he was taken off as a precaution after falling down on the pitch with what looked like muscle cramps.
Guerrero will be a real threat for Belgium from the left but he would be working very hard to fall back and prevent counter attacks from Belgium.
Joao Moutinho and Renato Sanches started just ahead of Danilo. Danilo was the defensive midfielder while these two were more box to box. Renato Sanches had an excellent game against France and he was very energetic in pushing forward as well as falling back and fighting for the ball.
Bruno Fernandes did not start the game in order to accommodate the extra man in midfield. He came on in Bernardo Silva’s place in the second half.
Ronaldo will drop deeper to collect the ball and to wait for counter attacking moves. Portugal will try to stay compact with Danilo Pereira playing just ahead of the defence. Jota and Bernardo Silva will prefer to cut inside and join Ronaldo, allowing room for Guerreiro and Semedo to bomb forward from the wide .
Renato sancho will be essential in distributing the ball and starting attacking moves. He could either move forward, or create overlapping runs for Guerreriro.
Portugal predicted line up against Belgium
We expect the line up to be unchanged. Bruno Fernandes hasn’t been able to replicate the amazing form he had at club level with Manchester United and he would probably be dropped in favor of Renato Sanches.
Belgium vs Portugal Euro 2021 Odds
Bookmakers are offering the following odds for the Belgium vs Portugal game in round of 16 in Euro 2020:
Belgium 2.46Draw 3.15Portugal 3.05
Based on these odds we can see that even though Belgium are the favorites to win according to Bookmakers,the odds for Portugal are not too far off. This means that bookmakers expect this to be a tight game that could still go either way.
Bookmaker offers for Belgium vs Portugal and Euro 2020
In our opinion, b-bets is one of the best bookmakers for betting on the Euro 2020 games. They currently have a cashback offer that gives you €1 back for every €5 you make on a bet on the Euro 2020. .
You can click on the following image to visit b-Bets and claim this offer in their promotion section.
Belgium vs Portugal Euro 2021 Predictions
In the past 5 games between these two teams, Portugal won 3 games and 2 games ended up in a draw.
However, you should keep in mind that the last 5 games between these two teams was played in 2018,2016,2007,2007 and 2000.
A lot can change in a span of even 2 years so we should ignore these statistics while predicting the outcome of this game.
We will be basing our prediction for Belgium vs Portugal on the following criteria:
The tactics of each teamThe weaknesses and strengths of each teamAnalyzing how each team could potentially win
Here are the predictions we have for Belgium vs Portugal based on these criterias:
Belgium will push very high up the pitch while Portugal will try to stay compact. Belgium will try to build patiently like we mentioned before and try to draw Portugese players out of position and then exploit that space that gets left behind.
Portugal will expect Belgium to do exactly that and they will tweak their tactics to press high as a team and get better at using the Catenaccio. Catenaccio is a defensive tactic that involves tight man marking and the use of an additional defensive player known as ‘sweeper’ or ‘libero’ (in Italian) to form a double line of defense.
The midfielder’s role will be to shield the defense and occasionally to take the ball forward by picking up the balls from the sweeper.
In Portugal’s case, that “sweeper” would be Danilo Pereiera.
Although Portugal seemed to have improved defensively in their final group stage game against France after losing against Germany, there were many instances where they were unable to press as a team. One player would break free and the rest of his team mates were not quick enough to cover that space allowing France to use that space to make line breaking passes.
Based on these facts, one of two things can happen. The first possibility is that Portugal will get better at fixing this problem or these problems will keep showing up.
Assuming Portugal fix this problem, they will be lethal while counter attacking and nullifying Belgium. Portugal will try to attack from wide especially with Guerrero on counter attacks.
We do expect Portugal to be better defensively but we still think that they will be too adventurous just like they were against France.Although Belgium’s central defenders have a lot of experience in regards to reading the play, the Portuguese have a lot of creativity and pace in midfield which they will use to the maximum to hit Belgium on the break. As we mentioned earlier, Vertonghen and Alderweireld will struggle to keep up with them.
This leads us to believe that this will be a very high scoring and tight game. Both teams are great at moving the ball directly and exploiting each other’s weaknesses. This is a hard game to predict and could go either way but we believe Belgium will win 3-2 because overall, they have more balance in terms of attack and defence.
Belgium vs Portugal Betting Tips
If you read our articles on football betting systems and football betting tips, you would realize Belgium vs Portugal is the perfect match to place a bet on in Euro 2020.
The reason for that is simple, the odds for both teams are above 2.0 and it will be a closely contested match.
This means that you can triple your money by betting on Portugal or a draw and double your money if you bet on Belgium.
That being said, we have a betting tip for you that could help you win some money no matter who wins…
Place one bet on Portugal to win and one bet(of equal amount) on Belgium to win. In this case you only lose your money if there is a draw but that is unlikely to happen in such a crucial game.
So essentially what you do is you split your budget for the game. Let’s say you have a budget of €200 for this game. You place one bet of €100 on Portugal and another €100 on France.
If Portugal wins your Profit percentage would be 52.5% because your Profit would be €305-€200=€105.
If Belgium wins you would still end up with a 23% profit (€246-€200=€46. 46 is 23% of 200).
Sure, this system means that your profit percentage would be lower if you just bet on one team (205 % profit if you just bet on Portugal and 146% if you just bet on France) but this system ensures that you don’t lose any money.
Keep in mind that this is not a fool proof system. If the match ends in a draw you will lose but as we pointed out earlier, the likelihood of a draw is very low.
TeamOddsBet AmountWinProfit %Portugal3.05€100€30552.5%France2.46€100€24623%
Some other betting options you can opt for during the Belgium vs Portugal game in Euro 2020 are:
Over 3.5 goals to be scored during the game. Odds 3.70Handicap betting. Belgium 0, Portugal 1 bet on a draw. Odds 4.50Ronaldo to score. Odds 2.20Ronaldo to score, Belgium to win. Odds 10.0Ronaldo to score, Portugal to win. Odds 4.20
Euro 2020 match predictions for other knockout stage games:
We have match predictions for other games in the round of 16 in Euro 2020. Feel free to check them out!