On Friday, November 13, the national team of Belgium hosts their Italian counterparts in an international friendly match. The game will be played at the Stade Roi Baudouin in the city of Brussels and will kick off at 20.45 BST.
The Belgians are currently in 1st position on the latest FIFA World Rankings, moving up two places from 3rd, while the Italians are in 13th place, up 4 places from 17th.
Belgium finished top of their Euro 2016 qualifying group, winning seven, drawing one and losing two of their games, while Italy finished their qualifying group undefeated, winning seven and drawing three of their ten games.
This game will be the 10th meeting between these two sides, with the Belgians winning two and losing three. Four of the games have ended in draws.
The Red Devils, managed by Marc Wilmots are in very good form, winning four and losing one of their last five games. These wins were all in Euro 2016 qualification against Bosnia-Herzegovina (3-1 on September 3), Cyprus (0-1 on September 6), Andorra (1-4 on October 10), and Israel (3-1 on October 13).
The only recent defeat suffered by the number one ranked soccer team in the world came against Wales (1-0 on June 12).
The Azzurri, managed by Antonio Conte are also in very good form, with a similar run of four wins and one defeat in their #last five games. These wins were against Malta (1-0 on September 3), Bulgaria (1-0 on September 6), Azerbaijain (1-3 on October 10), and Norway (2-1 on October 13).
The 2006 World Cup winners’ most recent defeat was against Portugal in a friendly match (0-1 on June 16).
Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard are always the creative hub of the Belgian teams. De Bruyne has been in scintillating form since moving to Manchester City while Hazard’s form of late for Chelsea has been poor. Both will be looking to shine against the Italians. Graziano Pelle has been in good form for his club, and will be looking to continue this form for his national team.
Belgium has been impressive over the last couple of months, and I expect this performance to continue at home against the Italians. I see the Belgians winning this game by a narrow margin.