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Belgium vs Ivory Coast prediction, preview, team news and more | International Friendlies 

Belgium will take on Ivory Coast on Thursday
Belgium will take on Ivory Coast on Thursday
Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Modified 07 Oct 2020, 22:04 IST
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Belgium and Ivory Coast will clash on Thursday at the King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels in an international friendly.

This will be the West African country's first fixture in almost a year, following the shutdown of football due to COVID-19, while their opponents were in action last month and comprehensively defeated Iceland 6-1 in Group 2 of the UEFA Nations League A section.

Ivory Coast had initially been scheduled to take on Nigeria but pulled out of the fixture in September, while Belgium also had their fixture with New Zealand cancelled.

The Red Devils will use this as preparation for their blockbuster Nations League clash with England on Sunday, while the Elephants will dispute another friendly with Japan next Tuesday.


Belgium vs Ivory Coast Head-to-Head

There has been only one meeting between the two sides in the past, with Belgium and Ivory Coast playing one another in an international friendly in March in preparation for the World Cup.

They had to settle for a 2-2 draw, with Wilfried Bony and Didier Drogba scoring late goals to complete a comeback after Marouane Fellaini and Radja Nainggolan had put the Europeans ahead.

Belgium form guide: W-W-W-W-W

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Ivory Coast form guide: L-W-W-W-L


Belgium vs Ivory Coast Team News

Roberto Martinez will be without Borussia Dortmund star Thorgan Hazard who is currently sidelined with a muscular injury. Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels also pulled out of the squad to witness the birth of his child and was replaced by Davy Roef.

Injuries: Thorgan Hazard

Pulled out: Koen Casteels

Suspensions: None

Coach Patrice Beaumelle has no suspension or injury concerns ahead of this encounter.

Injuries: None

Pulled out: None

Suspensions: None


Belgium vs Ivory Coast Predicted XI

Belgium Predicted XI (4-3-3): Simon Mignolet; Jan Vertonghen, Dedryck Boyata, Leander Dendoncker, Timothy Castagne; Axel Witzel, Youri Tielemans, Yannick Carasco; Dries Mertens, Michy Batshuayi, Jeremy Doku

Ivory Coast Predicted XI (4-3-3): Sylvain Gbohouo; Ghislain Konan, Eric Bailly, Wilfried Konan, Serge Aurier; Max Gradel, Franck Kessie, Jean Micheal Seri; Nicolas Pepe, Wilfred Zaha, Gervinho


Belgium vs Ivory Coast Prediction

The fact that Belgium has a marquee clash with England this weekend means that Roberto Martinez will probably rest his key stars and give some fringe players a chance to impress.

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Despite this, the Benelux nation still has more than enough quality in the reserves to rival some of the best national teams in the world.

Ivory Coast, for their part, are no slouches themselves and have several world-beaters in their ranks including Gervinho, Wilfred Zaha, Franck Kessie, Serge Aurier, and Nicolas Pepe, who have the experience of playing at the highest level.

Despite this, they will find it hard to get one over a Belgium side that have won their last 12 matches on the bounce.

Prediction: Belgium 3-1 Ivory Coast

Published 07 Oct 2020, 22:04 IST
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