By Shane Bidwell
Heading into the last group stage match against a young and talented England team, the Belgians are playing with a class and sense of urgency nearly unmatched thus far in the World Cup. After dispatching Panama 3-0 and absolutely manhandling Tunisia 5-0, Belgium looks like it has the makings to win it all this time around. Below are the reasons why Belgium will win The 2018 FIFA World Cup:
Romelu Lukaku is playing arguably the best football of his young career scoring 4 goals on just 5 shots. Lukaku trials only Harry Kane for Golden Boot honors. Also contributing in this potent attack are Napoli winger Dries Mertens and Man United midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. De Bruyne has played the role of maestro this tournament distributing beautiful balls to his teammates and commanding the attention of opposing defenders. Belgium has no shortage of offensive weapons and the fireworks have been on full display in Russia. Look for this attack to keep firing on all cylinders as they forge ahead through the tournament.
Anchoring their backline Belgium has the experienced Vincent Kompany along with stars Thomas Meunier and Toby Alderweireld. This defense is known for being nearly impenetrable with multiple clean sheets posted during the qualifying phase. They have continued their stingy ways in the World Cup allowing just two goals in a tournament that has been filled with high scoring affairs. In the unlikely event the Belgian defense does breakdown there is no need for panic given that they have one of the globe’s premier keepers in Thibaut Courtois. Courtois is only 26 but time and time again has stepped up making momentum shifting saves for not only the Belgian National Team but also for his club Chelsea. Courtois consistently plays against the top offensive players in the world so the level of talent in this World Cup will be no surprise to him.
This current crop of Belgian players is affectionately known as the “golden age” given that nearly their entire squad is in the prime of their careers. Having won domestically and participated in the 2014 World Cup the Belgians know exactly what to expect this time around. By having a mix of seasoned knowledge and youthful athleticism Belgium is a force to be reckoned with in 2018.
As teams prepare for the final round of the group stage the Belgians are a team to keep an eye on. It is no easy feat to conquer some of the best teams in the world, but as each day passes it is beginning to look more and more like this is Belgium’s year.