Finishing their World Cup 2018 group stage round as group winner, Belgium set their feet on the tournament’s last 16 and set for a battle against Asian representative, Japan this Monday.
Winning their final group game against England despite resting most of their main players seems to give that extra confidence boost for Red Devils ahead of their match against the Blue Samurai.
Moreover, the return of Vincent Kompany at the back could also give that extra push for them going forward, notably for the last 16 match as his presence can strengthened Belgium’s defense, allowing their creative players to comfortably pushing forward.
Just like what they showed in the group stage, Roberto Martinez’s side look to set up a dynamic attacking football with many creative offensive minded players being fielded on the pitch.
Attacking wise that could really bring tons of problems for Japan, but if Belgium are not careful, their defense might also get breach by their opponent’s counter attacking game.
Arriving in the last 16 in such unconventional fashion, Japan prepare to make the most of their success by pushing hard and targeting a quarter final place against Belgium.
Although they’re not being considered as favorite against Martinez’s side, the Blue Samurai won’t be feeling any disappointment since it can actually favor them.
Shinji Kagawa and co can just play their game without feeling much pressure or burden, knowing they are not tipped as favorite against Belgium.
Akira Nishino’s team will certainly face a stern test, especially at the back as Belgium have tons of fire power up front.
Probable starting line up:
Belgium: Thibaut Courtois; Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld; Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Yannick Carrasco, Thomas Meunier; Dries Mertens, Eden Hazard; Romelu Lukaku.
Japan: Eiji Kawashima; Hiroki Sakai, Maya Yoshida, Gen Shoji, Yuto Nagatomo; Makoto Hasebe, Gaku Shibasaki; Genki Haraguchi, Shinji Kagawa, Takashi Inui; Yuya Osako.