Chelsea Star Man Hazard Stars in Belgium Win
Chelsea's Eden Hazard was the main man for Belgium in their opening Euro 2020 qualifying game on Thursday night, scoring two goals to lead them to a 3-1 victory over Russia. It is always important to get off to a good start in a group competition like this, especially when you are playing at home and even more so when the team you are playing is likely to be your main competition for winning the group.
Aside from an error by Thibaut Courtois which handed Russia a goal in the first half to make the game 1-1, this was a pretty simple and straight forward night for Belgium, who were good value for their victory. They are clearly the best team in this group, and anything other than winning it would be a surprise, even though they would qualify for Euro 2020 by finishing second.
Russia are going to have to pick themselves up and get prepared for a trip to Kazakhstan as they look to get their first points on the board. Despite a good World Cup, if you take that out of it then Russia have not been too good over the past few years. It is away from home where they are having most of their problems too, so a win on Sunday would be a welcome boost for them.
While Russia are heading off to Kazakhstan, Belgium travel to face Cyprus in their second game as they look to maintain their 100% record in the group. As you would expect, Belgium are a short price to go to Cyprus and win, with 2/13 available on them to do that. The home side would love to cause a shock, though the bookmakers don't think it is likely and they have priced that up at 12/1, with the draw available at 13/2.