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Belgium

Belgium World Cup odds, tips and betting promos live on Footballtips.com

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Belgium can no longer be considered dark horses for the 2014 World Cup – they are genuine realistic contenders to lift the trophy in Brazil.
 
Although some shrewd followers of international football have secured fancy three-figure odds about Belgium, they are now among the first five in the betting.
 
This is due to the strength of the talent pool in that country, which has seen an influx of top-class players into the English Premier League where each of the top seven clubs now has a Belgian as a regular member of their first team.
 
It’s referred to as the Golden Generation, which means only central defender Daniel van Buyten, easily the oldest member of the World Cup squad at the age of 36, will have turned 30 of the 23 men who will represent Belgium in Brazil.
 
The likes of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, defender and captain Vincent Kompany and winger Eden Hazard are players any international manager would like to have the chance to call upon, and they are backed up by a host of other top-quality individuals.
 
The concern, however, for coach Marc Wilmots is whether his squad can reproduce the form of their impressive qualifying campaign in the vastly different conditions they will encounter in South America.
 
Certainly the Belgians cannot complain about the draw they have received in World Cup Group H, opening their campaign against Algeria on Tuesday June 17 in Belo Horizonte.
 
Next up is a meeting with group second favourites Russia in the famous Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro on Sunday June 22 before South Korea provide the last opposition of the round-robin phase in Sao Paulo on Thursday June 26.
 
This will be Belgium’s first appearance at a World Cup finals since 2002 having failed to qualify since then, and they have escaped from their group on five of the last six occasions when they have competed at the planet’s most prestigious football tournament.
 
Encouragingly, their best ever World Cup result was achieved in Mexico, where they finished fourth in 1986 after being beaten in the semi-finals by a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina side, so any fears about the heat could prove to be overstated.

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