Stadium: Gazprom Arena (Saint Petersburg)
Belgium are unbeaten in their last nine games (W7, D2). The Red Devils are ranked number one in FIFA rankings. They have not failed to score in a match since losing to France in July 2018
Russia have lost just one of their last five matches (W3, D1). They are ranked number 38 in FIFA rankings. They have lost just one in their last five opening matches in a major tournament (W2, D2).
Head to Head
Belgium vs Russia : Belgium 6 win; 2 draws; Russia 4 win; Belgium scored 21 goals against 17 by Russia (in 12 games)
After storming their way past every opponent in the qualifying stage, Belgium are now ready to do it in the main stage as they travel to St Petersburg to begin their latest European campaign.
Roberto Martinez‘s men became the first side to win all of their qualifying matches in Euro history when they topped Group I with 30 points and a goal difference of 37 after they scored 40 goals and conceded just three in the qualifying round.
They are now hoping to put out the same performance on the big stage and perhaps win their first-ever European Championship.
They entertain Russian brimming with confidence, having won seven of their last nine games and scoring two or more goals in six of the nine games.
Goals and attack have been the identity of Martinez’s team, with the coach travelling to the Euros with just five defenders in the squad. As a result, they will hope to begin the group matches with a positive result and, in so doing, set the tone for their remaining matches.
Roberto Martinez is still not certain of the availability of midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard. At the same time, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel is also expected to sit this one out.
Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Jason Denayer, Jan Vertonghen, Timothy Castagne, Youri Tielemans, Leander Dendoncker, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, Dries Mertens, Thorgan Hazard, Romelu Lukaku.
Russia were also impressive in the qualifying round, as they picked up eight wins in ten games to finish behind Belgium, who they lost to two times.
The 2018 World Cup hosts are not in this tournament for show and are looking to upset the odds here and go as far as possible in the tournament.
Three wins from their last ten games mean that they are not in particularly good form heading into this tie. Also, they have an inferior head-to-head record against the visitors as they have failed to win against Belgium in seven tries.
They will hope they can correct that record on Saturday as they look to open their 2021 Euro campaign with a win against mighty Belgium.
Anton Shunin, Igor Diveyev, Georgi Dzhikiya, Fyodor Kudryashov, Mario Fernandes, Roman Zobnin, Magomed Ozdoyev, Yuri Zhirkov, Aleksei Miranchuk, Aleksandr Golovin, Artem Dzyuba.
Belgium : Draw : Russia :: 1.85 : 3.50 : 4.50
Belgium 2-1 Russia