By Anis Bazza
Last Updated: 22nd June 2018
Saturday 23rd June
Kick Off: 1:00pm BST
Stadium: Otkrytie Arena, Moscow
Live on BBC1
Belgium vs Tunisia odds
Belgium vs Tunisia stats
Belgium and Tunisia last met in 2014 when Dries Mertens scored the only goal of the game. They previously met at a World Cup in 2002 which saw Tunisia claim the sole point of their tournament.
Belgium remain undefeated in their last 10 World Cup group games, drawing five and winning their last five. After cruising past Panama, Belgium will be eyeing another three points to ramp up the pressure on England who play on Sunday.
Tunisia tasted bitter defeat in their opening match where they were downed 2-1 to England by a late Harry Kane header. Tunisia are now winless in their last 12 World Cup matches, drawing four and losing eight. Their last win dates back all the way to 1978, beating Mexico in their first ever match. The last team to suffer a longer winless run was South Korea between 1954 and 1998, spanning 14 matches.
Belgium Vs Tunisia key players to watch
Belgium were the first European team to qualify for Russia 2018, scoring the joint most goals in the qualifiers alongside Germany. Tunisia, meanwhile, have kept only one clean sheet in their last 12 games at the World Cup. England capitalised on some suspect defending during their opening match, and Romelu Lukaku to score from a a header is currently at 8/1.
Lukaku staked an early claim for the Golden Boot after his brace against Panama, and Tunisia represents another opportunity to build on his tally. Lukaku is currently 8/1 to finish as Top Goalscorer.
Eden Hazard recorded two assists in the second half against Panama and is clearly eyeing this tournament as ‘his own’.
“I have the feeling this should be my World Cup,” Hazard said. “I am now 27 years old, playing in my second World Cup and have had a strong season individually. All the elements should come together to play a nice tournament.” Hazard is 25/1 to win the Golden Ball in Russia.
Tunisia will do their best to frustrate the Red Devils, who were held to 0-0 at half time after a laboured first half performance against Panama. It could be worth playing the drawn first half, Belgium win 2nd half market, which is currently costed at 3/1.
“They have a lot of bravery and they’re very dynamic,” the Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said of Tunisia. “The players have a good understanding between each other and they can bring energy and intensity on counterattacks. They play direct, efficient football.”
Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen has resumed training after being named in the squad despite sustaining an injury with Barcelona in May. However, he is unlikely to be risked against Tunisia but could play against England.
Anis grew up supporting Manchester City but found joy and solace across Europe’s major football leagues. Increasingly passionate about NBA, he is interested in and has written extensively about different aspects of sport across the years, previously working at Sky Sports News and Sport360 newspaper in Dubai. He studied Journalism at University but spent a large portion of his academic years building City Watch instead - the largest independent Manchester City Twitter account and website.