Euro 2016: Belgium vs Republic of Ireland - Live stream info, probable line-up, head to head (h2h) record and match preview
We look at the team news, probable line-ups and head to head record of Belgium and Republic of Ireland ahead of their Group E encounter.
Belgium take on Republic of Ireland in a Group E encounter of the UEFA Euro 2016 at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux and will be looking to recover after their 2-0 humiliation at the hands of Italy in the opening game of the tournament. Republic of Ireland also surrendered their slender lead against Sweden to end the match at 1-1 and will be hoping to cause an upset against the top-seeded team of the European Championship.
The Red Devils put in an incredibly underwhelming performance against Italy in their opening encounter and need to sort out a number of issues if they are to progress beyond the group stage. For the Irish, a win in today’s game can see them qualify for the next round. However, a loss will mean that they will have to beat Italy in the final game. Italy, who have already qualified for the knockouts, are expected to rest a few of their key players to avoid injuries in the clash against The Green Army.
The Belgians face a much sterner test. An abject surrender against the Italians saw them being criticised for a poor overall show. The Belgians looked devoid of ideas and inspiration, and their playing style was insipid, devoid of energy and was characterised by aimless passing. Therefore, a win is of paramount importance for the Belgians, whose golden generation will be expected to not only win, but win in a manner that makes for good viewing.
Live Stream and Kick-off time
The match will be live from 18:30 IST (Saturday), 14:00 BST (Saturday). Watch live streaming of Belgium v/s Republic of Ireland on SonyLIV. Follow Belgium vs Republic of Ireland, Euro 2016 Live Score and Commentary with Sportskeeda. The match will be telecasted live on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD in India, Fox Sports in the USA and Premier Sports in the UK. The match will be played at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux.
Marc Wilmots is expected to shuffle his team following the disappointing defeat against Italy and Yannick Carrasco could be seen starting ahead of Marouane Fellaini, despite the latter’s aerial prowess. Romelu Lukaku had a forgettable outing in the first game and his position as the lone forawrd could be under threat. The onus will be on Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne to provide the creative spark, however, the duo missed training but are expected to be playing.
Further changes in the midfield and defence can also not be ruled out, with Moussa Dembele expected to replace Radja Nainggolan, while Thomas Meunier couldslot in at right-back in place of Laurent Ciman.
Martin O’Neill’s side will be without the services of Jonathan Walters – who aggravated an Achilles injury during the game against Sweden. Burnley striker Stephen Ward could be seen slotting in for the Stoke City striker. The Irish are not expected to make any further changes in the side.
Belgium – Courtois; Meunier, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Witsel, Dembele; Hazard, De Bruyne, Carrasco; Lukaku
Republic of Ireland – Randolph; Coleman, O'Shea, Clark, Brady; Hendrick, Whelan, McCarthy, Hoolahan; Ward, Long
Belgium – LWDWL
The Belgians have been inconsistent in their last 5 encounters, losing twice drawing once and winning twice. Losses came against Portugal in a friendly and Italy in their opening group stage encounter of Euro 2016. A draw against minnows Finland didn’t help the morale in their camp either. Wins against Switzerland and Norway were the bright spots.
Republic of Ireland – DLDDW
Ireland have been masters when it comes to finishing matches in stalemates. A solitary win and a loss are interspersed between 3 draws. The win came against Switzerland, the loss, a surprise one against Belarus. They managed to hold out for a share of the spoils against Slovakia and Netherlands in pre-tournament friendlies, and against Sweden in their first match of Euro 2016.
Head to head record
Republic of Ireland have not beaten Belgium in the last 50 years, with their last victory coming in a friendly match in 1966 when they won 3-2. Since then the two sides have met six times.
The two sides haven’t clashed since November 1997, when the Red Devils recorded a 2-1 win in a World Cup qualifier at home.
Belgian coach Marc Wilmots featured in the 1-1 draw at Lansdowne Road in the same qualifying campaign.
The Republic of Ireland have never beaten Belgium in a competitive match (D5, L2). This is their first major tournament meeting.
Belgium are expected to bounce back following the defeat in their opener and with a plethora of attacking threat at their disposal a rout cannot be ruled out. The Red Devils should ideally secure a 2-0 win against the The Green Army, but an upset cannot be ruled out.