Portugal U21 vs Belgium U21 Predictions & Match Preview
Soccer Euro Under 21 Championship - Group Stage
⚽ 27 June 2023 - 16:00 GMT +0
The fate of Group A in the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship remains a mystery, as each of the four competing teams heads into the final matchday with a chance of making it to the quarter-finals. Last-place Portugal (D1, L1) will tackle second-placed Belgium (D2) with a medley of permutations to consider, but for the Portuguese, it will be either win or bust given their poor start to the campaign, while they also need to pray that the Netherlands fail to defeat co-hosts Georgia.
Two years on from reaching the final of the previous edition in Slovenia, Rui Jorge's young Esperanças will be disappointed to find themselves in their current position, after leading for nearly an hour against the Netherlands only to draw 1-1. Jorge and the Portuguese fans will have been expecting much more from the attacking unit, who went through the qualifying stages with more goals (4.1 per game) than any other nation.
Belgium have both an easier and more complex way of navigating past the group stages, as on the one hand, either a win here or simply bettering the result of the Netherlands would see them through. But on the other hand, since Jacky Mathijssen's troops drew 0-0 and are now tied on points with the Netherlands, should each of Group A’s final matches end in stalemates, then Belgium must ensure they’ve scored more goals overall than the Netherlands.
Their two goals scored in their 2-2 draw with co-hosts Georgia has them ahead on that count, but it was of little comfort to Mathijssen who lamented his team failing to convert a 2-0 half-time lead: “We want to play attacking but we need a certain discipline … we have to learn from that.” They’ll want to get the job done on their own terms with a win here, something that would see them through to the knockout stages for only the second time in their history.
|Bookie||Home Win||Draw||Away Win||Take Action|
|@ 2.35||@ 3.65||@ 2.85||BET NOW|
|@ 2.15||@ 3.65||@ 2.85||BET NOW|
📋 Players to watch: Portugal’s Premier League star Pedro Neto could prove pivotal as the game wears on, having scored 11 of his 14 senior club goals after half-time. Meanwhile, a goal and assist against Georgia demonstrated Belgium’s Maxim De Cuyper’s talent, and his last three goals at club level all went on to be match-winners!
⚡ Hot stat: Belgium have kept ten clean sheets in their last 16 matches, losing only once in that time (W9, D6).
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