|World Cup 2014|
ScheduleTuesday, 17 June 2014 at 16:00 GMT / 17:00 UK / 21:30 IST
VenueEstádio Mineirão (Belo Horizonte)
Next Tuesday, Belgium and Algeria will go head-to-head at Estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte on what will be the opening match of World Cup’s Group H.
Belgium are currently, according to the pundits, one of the most impressive teams of the Old Continent and they have been able to handle such compliments appropriately. After an impressive campaign at the UEFA qualification round, where they finished at the top of their group with eight wins and two draws in ten matches, they have not managed to maintain that prolific moment during their preparation matches. Later last year, Belgium were defeated twice in just five days, first by Colombia and later by Japan, and they have only managed to return to good results already this year when they smashed Luxembourg and initiated a three-match undefeated streak.
Belgium's head coach, former attacking midfielder Marc Wilmots, took the helm of the team in 2012 and manage to place them on the route for success after years of underachieving performances. Wilmots implemented new ideas and a fresh 4-3-3 versatile scheme that is easily transformed in a 4-2-3-1 approach during the team’s attacking movements. The midfield line is probably the strongest sector of the Belgian team, with very skilled players such as Dembele, Defour, Witsel, and Fellaini dictating the teams’ tempo.
Concerning injuries, although there are still some doubts concerning De Bruyne’s physical condition, he will probably be able to give his contribution to the team.
As for Algeria, the match against Belgium will mark their second consecutive presence at a World Cup tournament after they finished their twenty-four years fast at South Africa in 2010. The African team have been in a particular good form recently as they managed to win all their three preparation matches before the World Cup. Their manager, the experienced Bosnian head coach Vahid Halihodzic, is slowing taking the team to another level as Algeria looks a far stronger team as the days go by. Halihodzic brought in a mobile tactical approach to the team and it is often normal to see Algeria going from a more conservative 4-5-1 scheme to a mobile 4-4-2 Diamond, with Brahimi lurking behind the forwards as some sort of advanced playmaker.
Belgium are favourites for next Tuesday’s match, although Algeria might have a word to say as it has become clear during their recent performances against quality teams such as Romania and even Slovenia.
Stats: W-3 L-1 D-1
Recent Form - WWWDL
Stats: W-4 L-0 D-1
Recent Form - WWWWD
Belgium (4-3-3) - Courtois - Alderweireld - Kompany - Vermaelen - Vertonghen - Witsel - Dembele - Fellaini - Hazard - Mirallas - Lukaku
Algeria (4-5-1) - M’Bolhi - Ghoulam - Cadamuro - Bougherra - Mesbah - Bentaleb - Taider - Medjani - Brahimi - Feghouli - Slimani
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