Preview: Belgium vs. Estonia

Preview: Belgium vs. Estonia

Belgium can officially book their place at World Cup 2022 with victory over Estonia in Saturday’s qualifier at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.

The Red Devils are five points clear at the top of Group E with two rounds of games to play, while Estonia can finish no higher than their current standing of fourth place.

Following the disappointment of losing to France and Italy in last month’s UEFA Nations League Finals, Belgium will be eager to get back to winning ways over the next week.

Roberto Martinez’s side are on course to end the year as the world’s top-ranked nation once again, which says an awful lot about their consistency in qualifying matches.

While their record in major tournaments is underwhelming considering their ‘Golden Generation’ of talent, Belgium’s ability to cruise through qualifying cannot be understated.

A victory against Estonia on home soil on Saturday will be enough to secure top spot with a game to spare, while even a shock defeat may be enough if Wales fail to beat Belarus.

Should the unthinkable happen and the Red Devils fall to defeat, combined with Wales beating Belarus, that would leave them needing to dodge defeat in Cardiff next Tuesday.

Realistically, though, Martinez will be confident of his side getting the job done in their final home match this year, having gone 14 World Cup qualifiers without defeat at home.

Estonia enter the match in relatively good spirits, despite falling to a slender 1-0 loss against Wales last time out in qualifying.

That came on the back of a well-earned goalless draw against the Dragons in Cardiff and a 2-0 victory over Belarus on their own patch.

Thomas Haberli’s side have had an encouraging few months, having also ended their long wait for Baltic Cup success in the summer.

Estonia may no longer be able to finish higher than fourth, but holding off Belarus – one point worse off in fifth – gives them something to play for in Brussels on Saturday.

Belgium World Cup Qualifying – Europe form:
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Belgium form (all competitions):
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Estonia World Cup Qualifying – Europe form:
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Estonia form (all competitions):
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We say: Belgium 3-0 Estonia
Belgium have lost their last two matches and will now be after six points from six to conclude their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Martinez will likely rotate his injury-hit squad, but even so there is far too much quality in the Red Devils’ ranks to be given a scare by Estonia.

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