Switzerland vs Belgium Betting Preview – 18/11/2018

Switzerland vs Belgium Betting Preview – 18/11/2018

Switzerland vs Belgium

Switzerland have a chance of usurping Belgium to qualify for next Summer’s UEFA Nations League playoffs, but they must win at home on Sunday evening. Both sides have done the double over already relegated Iceland, so first place comes down to head-to-head results. Belgium defeated Switzerland 2-1 in Brussels last month, so Vladimir Petković’s men must overturn that. Given the match essentially works as the second leg of a knockout, Mario Gavranovic’s away goal from last time could prove useful.

Switzerland suffered a miserly 1-0 defeat to Qatar last Wednesday. The next World Cup hosts came to Lugano and edged out a forgettable friendly, scoring the winner in the 86th minute. It provided less than ideal preparation for Vladimir Petkovic’s men, but it was a heavily rotated team.

Petkovic should be able to field close his best side here, although Breel Embolo is sidelined through injury and Borussia Dortmund centre-half Manuel Akanji withdrew from the squad earlier in the week after suffering a knock.

It’s actually been four defeats in Switzerland’s last six matches, something of a drastic change given that they have proven so difficult to beat under Petkovic. They only left Euro 2016 on penalties, and lost just once in the two years leading up to the Russia 2018. Nevertheless, they’re really strong at home, with the defeat to Qatar the first loss on Swiss soil since Sunday’s opponents Belgium won there in a friendly back in 2016. They haven’t lost a competitive fixture at home since England won there in September 2014. They were especially impressive in their last competitive fixture at home, a 6-0 blitzing of Iceland.

Betfred offer odds of 13/5 that Switzerland win here, and you can find odds of 5/1 with Bet365 that they win to nil, a result that would guarantee their top spot in this group. Without Akanji that could prove difficult, but Fabian Schar has looked solid in recent weeks for Newcastle and always been a reliable servant for his national team.

Belgium maintained their 100% record with a home win over Iceland on Thursday evening, knowing that just a point would take them through to next summer’s playoffs. But they were made to work for it and didn’t break the deadlock until after the hour mark. Valencia striker Michy Batshuayi scored both goals in an eventual 2-0 win.

However, Roberto Martinez’s men weren’t at their fluid best or as convincing as they were when they went to Iceland and won 3-0, and while they have a depth of talent, it looked like they were missing Kevin De Bruyne in the middle and Romelu Lukaku up front. The Manchester United striker scored twice in the win over Switzerland last month, including a late winner, and is a doubt for this fixture.

They do still have Eden Hazard, who has been in scintillating form for club and country this season. He’s scored seven goals in eleven league games for Chelsea so far this season, with three in his last six for Belgium. It was his remarkable defence-splitting diagonal through ball that set Batshuayi through on goal to break the deadlock against Iceland, too. SkyBet offers odds of 2/1 for the Chelsea man to score anytime.

While they didn’t look at their best, Belgium still got the win against Iceland and still enjoy a 100% record in the Nations League. They’ve won 12 of their last fourteen games in all competitions, and the semi-final defeat to France at the World Cup was their first competitive loss since Euro 2016. It would be quite a shock for Belgium to lose, so they’re worth backing at 1/3 with Bet365 to either draw or win.

Recommended Bets:

Eden Hazard to score anytime at 2/1 with SkyBet – BET HERE

Belgium win at 23/20 with Bet365 – BET HERE