Belgium v Tunisia
Saturday, 13:00
Live on BBC One

Belgium bidding for second win

Belgium were at their enigmatic best/worst against Panama in Group G's opening game.
For 45 minutes they laboured, looked far less than the sum of their parts and did very little to suggest they're worthy of a single-figure price to lift the trophy.
There was plenty of average stuff served up in the second half too but in amongst it were three moments of quality.
Dries Mertens volleyed home a brilliant first, Kevin De Bruyne played a superb ball with the outside of his foot to set up Romelu Lukaku to nod in the second and the big striker doubled his tally with a classy finish over the goalkeeper after Eden Hazard's burst forward and pass.
The highlights suggested something different from the disappointing reality of sitting through all 90 minutes but the bottom line was a 3-0 win, two goals for the team's main striker and very much a case of job done.

Defeat likely to be fatal for Tunisia

To somehow stop what looks like an inevitable Belgium/England dual forecast, Tunisia have to nick a result off one of the group's top two.
And they so nearly managed it against England despite riding their luck in the eventual 2-1 defeat.
After conceding an early goal and being opened up repeatedly, the Tunisians got back into the game from a slightly dubious penalty and then did the nasty work very well, denying England space, putting in a string of niggly tackles and exploiting a weak referee, who never looked like clamping down on their rough stuff.
A hard-fought, backs-to-the-wall draw looked to have been secured until they inexplicably left Harry Kane acres of space in the area to head home his second.
Defeat against Belgium now means an almost certain exit with England expected to see off Panama the following day. Do they have enough in the tank to prevent what most see as inevitable?

Red Devils red-hot favourites again

Just 1.19 to beat Panama, Belgium are not that much bigger to see off Tunisia, the market showing them at 1.33
Tunisia are 11.50 while The Draw, which they so nearly managed against England, is 5.90.
It may never be as consistently pretty as it should be but Belgium know how to score goalsand adding to the 43 they scored in qualifying are seven in the last two games - the 4-1 friendly win over Costa Rica and the 3-0 success against Panama.
With all that quality, you'd expect them to bank three more points but there's a good way to boost that basic and rather off-putting win price...

Cash in on slow-starting Belgians

If they take time to go through the gears again - a habit of theirs in World Cups - it could be worth playing the Draw-Belgium HT/FT result at 4.10.
For that to land, Tunisia will have to start quicker than they did against England but the North Africans are a spirited bunch and the late heartbreak induced by Kane is more likely to fire them up further than produce a dropping of heads.
Belgium's slower possession game will make it easier for Tunisia to set themselves up and block the central areas and Panama managed it pretty comfortably for 45 minutes at least.

Tunisia may pay the penalty this time

They got a spot-kick of their own but how they didn't concede at least a couple is a mystery shrouded in the cloak of VAR. Perhaps Tunisia won't be as lucky against Belgium.
The Belgians have enough tricky players to induce fouls in the box anyway but VAR, despite not picking up everything, has certainly helped increase the high penalty count in this World Cup.
Back a Penalty Awarded? Yes at 11/5 (Sportsbook).

Lukaku odds-on to add to goal count

Romelu Lukaku did us a favour by landing the 2 Goals or More bet at 16/5 against Panama and he's 9/2 to bag another brace, something Harry Kane managed against Tunisia of course. An anytime goal is 4/5. Both are certainly worth a look.
Eden Hazard is Belgium's penalty taker and, of course, could net from open play, but the 11/8 anytime looks short enough. I'd rather back the spot-kick at a bigger price, especially as it doesn't have to be scored and could be awarded to Tunisia.

Key Opta Stats for Belgium v Tunisia

This will be the fourth meeting between Belgium and Tunisia, with both nations winning one game and sharing one draw. Another draw is 5.50.
The most recent meeting between Belgium and Tunisia was a friendly in 2014, with Dries Mertens scoring a late winner for Belgium in a 1-0 win in Brussels. Belgium are 1.35 to win again.
This is Belgium and Tunisia’s second meeting at a World Cup tournament – they previously drew 1-1 in the 2002 group stages, in what was Tunisia’s only point in that edition. Another 1-1 draw is 11.00.
Belgium are unbeaten in their three previous World Cup games against African opponents. Belgium are 1.90 to win half-time/full-time.
Belgium are unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games, winning the last five in a row (W5 D5 L0). The draw half-time/Belgium full-time double result is 4.10.
Each of Belgium’s last 11 World Cup goals have come after half-time. The half-time draw is 2.50.
Tunisia are winless in their last 12 World Cup matches (D4 L8), since beating Mexico in their first ever match in the competition (3-1 in 1978). Belgium are [2.05] to win to nil.
The last team to have a longer winless run in the World Cup than Tunisia’s current run of 12 was South Korea (14 games between 1954 and 1998). Belgium are 3.10 to win both halves.
Tunisia have scored with their only shot on target so far at this World Cup. Both teams to score at 2.32.
Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments for Belgium (World Cup and European Championships) than Romelu Lukaku (5, level with Marc Wilmots). Lukaku is 1.83 to find the net.
RECOMMENDED BETS
1pt Draw/Belgium HT/FT at 4.1
1pt Penalty to be awarded at 11/5 (Sportsbook)Belgium v Tunisia
Saturday, 13:00
Live on BBC One

Belgium bidding for second win

Belgium were at their enigmatic best/worst against Panama in Group G's opening game.
For 45 minutes they laboured, looked far less than the sum of their parts and did very little to suggest they're worthy of a single-figure price to lift the trophy.
There was plenty of average stuff served up in the second half too but in amongst it were three moments of quality.
Dries Mertens volleyed home a brilliant first, Kevin De Bruyne played a superb ball with the outside of his foot to set up Romelu Lukaku to nod in the second and the big striker doubled his tally with a classy finish over the goalkeeper after Eden Hazard's burst forward and pass.
The highlights suggested something different from the disappointing reality of sitting through all 90 minutes but the bottom line was a 3-0 win, two goals for the team's main striker and very much a case of job done.

Defeat likely to be fatal for Tunisia

To somehow stop what looks like an inevitable Belgium/England dual forecast, Tunisia have to nick a result off one of the group's top two.
And they so nearly managed it against England despite riding their luck in the eventual 2-1 defeat.
After conceding an early goal and being opened up repeatedly, the Tunisians got back into the game from a slightly dubious penalty and then did the nasty work very well, denying England space, putting in a string of niggly tackles and exploiting a weak referee, who never looked like clamping down on their rough stuff.
A hard-fought, backs-to-the-wall draw looked to have been secured until they inexplicably left Harry Kane acres of space in the area to head home his second.
Defeat against Belgium now means an almost certain exit with England expected to see off Panama the following day. Do they have enough in the tank to prevent what most see as inevitable?

Red Devils red-hot favourites again

Just 1.19 to beat Panama, Belgium are not that much bigger to see off Tunisia, the market showing them at 1.33
Tunisia are 11.50 while The Draw, which they so nearly managed against England, is 5.90.
It may never be as consistently pretty as it should be but Belgium know how to score goalsand adding to the 43 they scored in qualifying are seven in the last two games - the 4-1 friendly win over Costa Rica and the 3-0 success against Panama.
With all that quality, you'd expect them to bank three more points but there's a good way to boost that basic and rather off-putting win price...

Cash in on slow-starting Belgians

If they take time to go through the gears again - a habit of theirs in World Cups - it could be worth playing the Draw-Belgium HT/FT result at 4.10.
For that to land, Tunisia will have to start quicker than they did against England but the North Africans are a spirited bunch and the late heartbreak induced by Kane is more likely to fire them up further than produce a dropping of heads.
Belgium's slower possession game will make it easier for Tunisia to set themselves up and block the central areas and Panama managed it pretty comfortably for 45 minutes at least.

Tunisia may pay the penalty this time

They got a spot-kick of their own but how they didn't concede at least a couple is a mystery shrouded in the cloak of VAR. Perhaps Tunisia won't be as lucky against Belgium.
The Belgians have enough tricky players to induce fouls in the box anyway but VAR, despite not picking up everything, has certainly helped increase the high penalty count in this World Cup.
Back a Penalty Awarded? Yes at 11/5 (Sportsbook).

Lukaku odds-on to add to goal count

Romelu Lukaku did us a favour by landing the 2 Goals or More bet at 16/5 against Panama and he's 9/2 to bag another brace, something Harry Kane managed against Tunisia of course. An anytime goal is 4/5. Both are certainly worth a look.
Eden Hazard is Belgium's penalty taker and, of course, could net from open play, but the 11/8 anytime looks short enough. I'd rather back the spot-kick at a bigger price, especially as it doesn't have to be scored and could be awarded to Tunisia.

Key Opta Stats for Belgium v Tunisia

This will be the fourth meeting between Belgium and Tunisia, with both nations winning one game and sharing one draw. Another draw is 5.50.
The most recent meeting between Belgium and Tunisia was a friendly in 2014, with Dries Mertens scoring a late winner for Belgium in a 1-0 win in Brussels. Belgium are 1.35 to win again.
This is Belgium and Tunisia’s second meeting at a World Cup tournament – they previously drew 1-1 in the 2002 group stages, in what was Tunisia’s only point in that edition. Another 1-1 draw is 11.00.
Belgium are unbeaten in their three previous World Cup games against African opponents. Belgium are 1.90 to win half-time/full-time.
Belgium are unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games, winning the last five in a row (W5 D5 L0). The draw half-time/Belgium full-time double result is 4.10.
Each of Belgium’s last 11 World Cup goals have come after half-time. The half-time draw is 2.50.
Tunisia are winless in their last 12 World Cup matches (D4 L8), since beating Mexico in their first ever match in the competition (3-1 in 1978). Belgium are [2.05] to win to nil.
The last team to have a longer winless run in the World Cup than Tunisia’s current run of 12 was South Korea (14 games between 1954 and 1998). Belgium are 3.10 to win both halves.
Tunisia have scored with their only shot on target so far at this World Cup. Both teams to score at 2.32.
Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments for Belgium (World Cup and European Championships) than Romelu Lukaku (5, level with Marc Wilmots). Lukaku is 1.83 to find the net.
RECOMMENDED BETS
1pt Draw/Belgium HT/FT at 4.1
1pt Penalty to be awarded at 11/5 (Sportsbook)

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