Euro 2016 Qualifier Preview: Belgium vs Andorra
Date: 10th October
Stadium: King Baudouin, Brussels
Belgium make their first appearance in the Euro 2016 qualifiers tonight against low-rated Andorra. Belgium’s first game of the Euro 2016 campaign against Israel was postponed on the 9th September so Belgium fans are geared up for the official competitive game of the qualifiers. Many are probably wondering why Belgium are even playing Andorra. A new rule that has been introduced by UEFA that will see 32 teams to be fit to qualify for Euro 2016, which is 8 more than traditional Euro competitions. This gives way to the likes of Andorra and other nations with low football profiles such as Gibraltar and whipping boys San Marino.
Thibaut Courtois is expected to play for the hosts after recently going to hospital with a head injury, while Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard could miss out with a toe problem.
Elsewhere, Toby Alderweireld is likely to shake off a knock, but Everton’s Kevin Mirallas misses out with the hamstring problem that he recently suffered in a Premiership league match.
Regarding Andorra, I gotta be honest, I don’t know any of their players and I don’t think anybody else does. For what its worth, their captain Ildefons Lima, is the side’s highest goalscorer with 8 goals and he’s a centre back!
Possible starting lineups
Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Kompany, Lombaerts, Vertonghen; Hazard, Witsel, Defour, Chadli; De Bruyne; Lukaku
Andorra: Pol; Rubio, Garcia, Loma, Maneiro; Vales, Ayala; Lorenzo, Peppe, Martinez; Riera
What I’m quite excited about is seeing the Belgium boys wear the new Belgium Adidas Kit. The stripes look very smooth and it adds that extra bit of class to the side:
Belgium Players On Great Form
The Belgium boys are usually on great form but a particular mention goes to:
Thibaut Courtois – he’s kept Chelsea’s number 1 for the last 9 seasons out of the squad, earning a clear sheet against Arsenal and maintaining a top position in the Premiership as the international break begins
Naccer Chadli – the Spurs winger struggled to find his form in his first season as White Hart Lane but he’s certainly come into his own under new boss Pochettino. Chadli has scored 4 goals in 6 appearances and has been a regular starter in the side.
Eden Hazard – we all know what a great player he is but in Chelsea’s recent win 2-0 over Arsenal, last season’s PFA Young Player of the Year was electrifying, scoring the first goal and setting up the second.
Kevin Du Bruyne – another player who is having a great season and his strike for Wolfsburg last week is a potential contender for goal of the season (see below)
The current form certainly favours Belgium whereas Andorra have lost their last 6 games despite holding Wales to a 2-1 defeat in their opening qualifier.
Last 6 games:
Our predictions: Belgium 5 – 0 Andorra
Long live Belgium! Vive la Belgique! Leve België!