Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ are legitimate contenders for the Euro 2016 trophy but they face a tricky opener against Italy.
The Italian squad may not be as strong as Azzurri sides of the past, they have no creator in the mould of an Andrea Pirlo or a superstar forward such as Alesaandro Del Piero, but they still boast plenty of talent within their ranks.
Antonio Conte’s men have won six of their last 10 games and have managed at least a goal in all of those clashes. The last time they failed to find the back of the net was against Portugal almost a year ago and they should be able to take advantage of a reasonably untested Belgian backline, as defensive talisman Vincent Kompany is missing through injury for De Rode Duivels.
However, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots has some of Europe’s top forwards in his squad with Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Divock Origi, Radja Nainngolan and Dries Mertins all more than capable of providing a goal threat.
Belgium’s quality should see them over the line but Italy will make life difficult, which is why the 5/1 on a win for Wilmots’ men with both teams to score is my top bet in this Group E clash.