Belgium head into their second World Cup Group G match sitting atop the table.
Roberto Martinez’s side struggled to get into gear in the first half against Panama, but the Belgians hard work broke down their opponents in the second stanza.
Belgium found three goals in 30 minutes and could have had more. Martinez will be happy with his team’s play from game one, but he knows his players have much more to offer.
Tunisia were on the verge of getting a point against England. The North African team played well enough in game one, but ultimately lost 2-1 thanks to some poor set piece defending late in the match. Tunisia will have a more difficult match against Belgium as the European side has one of the most dangerous groups of attacking players at the World Cup.
Nabil Maaloul’s team struggled with England’s pace. The team couldn’t stop Jesse Lingard, Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli in the opening stages of the game. Belgium’s attacking players should pose the same threat to Tunisia. The Eagles of Carthage played a 4-1-4-1 formation but even having a defensive midfielder to protect the back four wasn’t enough to slow England. It is doubtful Maaloul will change his formation against Belgium.
Belgium deployed a 3-4-2-1 formation against Panama. At times, the team had difficulty getting the ball out from the back and moving it quickly into attacking zones. Martinez’s team kept 62 percent possession in game one. Belgium’s dominance in possession should continue against Tunisia, who look more likely to strike a goal on the counter attack based on their formation. Belgium tallied 15 shots in game one against Panama with six landing on target. The team’s defence held Panama to just two shots on target. Tunisia landed just one shot on target against the English. The shot on target was Tunisia’s goal which came from the penalty spot.
Tunisia’s hope for a point against Belgium will depend first and foremost on the team’s defending. The pace of attackers Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens, Eden Hazard and Yannick Carrasco will make keeping goals out of the back of the net difficult for Maaloul’s team.
Belgium’s overall dominance against Panama should be replicated against Tunisia. The Belgians have far too many weapons in the team and Tunisia could see a large defeat. Belgium are a much stronger team than England, and Tunisia will not have a chance of picking up a point in this fixture.