Belgium Euro 2024 Preview | Tactical Analysis & Pick

Belgium Euro 2024 Preview | Tactical Analysis & Pick article feature image

BJ Cunningham, Cyriel Klitsie/Action Network. Pictured: Romelu Lukaku.

After a World Cup filled with drama and bad results, Belgium look to put that all to bed and make a deep run at Euro 2024.

Roberto Martinez has moved onto manage Portugal, which makes way for former RB Leipzig manager Domenico Tedesco. Belgium were impressive during qualifying to top their group over Austria and Sweden without losing a single match. The "golden generation" of Belgium is over, which has made way for the new younger generation. They may not be as talented, but the tournament sets up really well for the Belgians as they've been put in the easiest qualifying group and have a great path to the quarterfinals.

Here is my Belgium Euro 2024 preview.

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Tactical Analysis

Domenico Tadesco has revitalized Belgium and made them a much better tactical side in the short time that he’s been in charge. Belgium typically build out of the back in a 3-2-5 formation with Castagne inverting into the middle of the pitch alongside Onana, which allows De Bruyne and Carrasco to push forward to occupy the half space.

Football can be a simple game sometimes and from watching Belgium during qualifying, the ultimate goal is to get the ball to Romelu Lukaku in a goal scoring position.

The other aspect for Belgium is to get Doku, Bakayoko or Lukebakio into a 1 v 1 situation against the opposing fullback because those three are outstanding at either creating a chance for Lukaku or cutting inside to get a shot off.

Not only are Belgium dangerous from build up situations, but they are incredibly deadly on the counter as well. They had the second most counterattack shots per 90 minutes during Euro qualifying.

Belgium are actually a pretty passive defensive team by nature. Tadesco puts a premium on not getting beat in transition, so when Belgium do lose the ball, you will often see them get back and fall into a very narrow and compact 4-4-2 defensive block.

They were very effective throughout qualifying in this type of defensive shape, allowing only 0.84 xG per 90 minutes, but there were some concerning signs when they weren’t settled in their defensive block. Just about every goal scoring opportunity that Austria and Sweden had against them in qualifying came off of forced high turnover or from a counter attack from deep after losing the ball into the opponent's final third.

The great news for them is in this group the three teams they are going to face are not going to press them with regularity and even if they do, Ukraine are the only one with offensive firepower to punish them.

The other problem with Belgium is they are going to have to roll with a center back pairing of Artur Theate and Wout Faes, which is not the best combination from a defensive standpoint, and it is one of the reasons why they are continually allowed chances in transition.


data via WyScout

Final Verdict

Even though Belgium are in an easy group, there are some pretty clear flaws with this team and their center back pairing leaves a lot to be desired. So, I have a really hard time playing them to win this group at such a high price.

One bet involving Belgium that I do love is Romelu Lukaku to be the top goalscorer at 20/1.

Lukaku led all goal scorers in qualifying, scoring 14 goals in only 6.6 90s, but he was also getting elite shot production, averaging 4.4 shots per 90 minutes as well. He's the focal point of the offense and is going to get the easiest group in terms of defenses as well. Based on expected goals allowed during qualifying Romania were 17th, Slovakia were 24th and Ukraine were 19th.

History has shown that five or six goals usually wins the Golden Boot, so with him being in an easy group and Belgium having a decent path to get to the quarterfinals, he’ll have a great opportunity to score a ton of goals.

Pick: Romelu Lukaku Top Goalscorer (+2000 via DraftKings)

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