Belgium vs Iceland Betting Preview – 15/11/2018

Belgium vs Iceland Betting Preview – 15/11/2018

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Belgium vs Iceland

Roberto Martinez’ Belgium are looking to maintain their 100% record in the UEFA Nations League as they host Iceland, who might well finally be on a comedown after peaking with their triumphs at Euro 2016 and first-ever qualification for the World Cup.

Belgium, as they have done in recent years, qualified convincingly for the World Cup, but really made a statement in Russia and finally looked like they fulfilled the potential of their golden generation as they topped the group and knocked out Brazil en route to the semi-finals, in which they were only eked out in a 1-0 to eventual champions France.

Roberto Martinez’s side announced themselves as one of the best sides in international, they’ve maintained it since; they convincingly defeated England in the third-place playoff, before getting back to business in the post-World Cup calendar, thrashing Scotland 4-0 in a friendly before defeating Iceland and Switzerland to get well on their way to topping their Nations League group.

The 3-0 win over Iceland in Reykjavik suggests that Martinez’s side won’t have any problems repeating that performance against the same opposition at home. Kevin De Bruyne is absent  through injury once again, but he wasn’t missed last time as they eased past Iceland. Romelu Lukaku has scored five goals in four games for Belgium since the World Cup, continuing his good form for the national team while he’s struggled for form with Manchester United.

Betfred offer odds of 3/1 that Lukaku will score two or more goals against Iceland, just as he did in Reykjavik a couple of months ago. There’s little value in a straight Belgium win, as they’re odds on and valued at around 2/11 with the likes of Bet365, Ladbrokes and William Hill. BoyleSports offer odds that Belgium will win and keep a clean sheet at 5/6 which is potentially worth backing given their defence was untroubled by Iceland away from home, and have won while keeping a clean sheet in three of their last five matches.

Romantics might want to look away from Iceland as it appears their bubble might well and truly have burst. They haven’t won a game since before the World Cup, a run that stretches back eleven games, with five defeats from their last six. They’re certain to be relegated from this Nations League group after losing home and away to Switzerland, and in the home leg against Belgium.

The 6-0 defeat away in Switzerland is particularly concerning for their chances in Belgium, as they were embarrassed by a side they will have had ambitions to compete with. Their hopes were totally extinguished when they lost at home to Switzerland last month, though Alfred Finnbogason briefly reignited hopes when he scored their first goal of the competition ten minutes before full-time. They couldn’t find a second though, and lost 2-1.

The thunder clapping faithful might take some positivity from the fact that Iceland have made a habit of performing against the odds and sides with superior players in recent years. The England match at Euro 2016 is the most famous example, but they also held Argentina to a draw in this year’s World Cup group, eventual finalists Croatia needed an injury-time winner from Ivan Perisic to defeat them, while their only draw in the last five games was against the champions France, where they lead 2-0 until the last ten minutes.

Betfair and BetVictor offer long odds of 6/1 for Iceland to cause another upset and win. Given they’ve kept just one clean sheet in over a year (15 games) and Belgium have considerable firepower, it might be worth extending that to odds of a whopping 33/1 with SkyBet for both teams to score and Iceland to win. Remember though, it’s a longshot for good reason, and the form book – not to mention huge discrepancy in quality – only points one way.

Recommended bets:

Romelu Lukaku to score two or more goals at 3/1 with Betfred – BET HERE

Belgium to win and both teams NOT to score at 5/6 with Betway – BET HERE

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