World Cup Betting preview: Belgium v Russia

Belgium look cracking value 23/20 with bet365 and BetVictor to beat Russia in the first helping of World Cup action today (5pm KO, Live on BBC1).

The Red Devils were not at the best in their opening game agfainst Algeria where they trailed 1-0 until manager Marc Wilmot made changes which saw substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens score to seal a 2-1 win.

That will will have given Belgium confidence going into this, especially as Russia started slowly against South Korea and conceded before battling back for a draw.

Romelu Lukaku scored a brace for Belgium when the sides last met in a friendly back in November 2010 (Belgium won 2-0), but failed to register a single touch in the opposition area in his 58-minute appearance against Algeria.

The Everton striker is definitely better than that and I am going to keep the faith and side with him at 5/1 with Ladbrokes in the first goalscorer market.

I am also expecting Belgium to be quick out of the blocks, and given that the last eight goals that Russia have scored in World Cup finals matches have come after half-time, backing Belgium in the HT/FT market looks well worth a wager at the 5/2 on offer with BetVictor.

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