Republic of Ireland vs Belgium Prediction: Red Devils to be ruthless

 | March 22 | 

3 mins read

There may be little at stake for this friendly encounter at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday evening (17:00), but the Republic of Ireland will be keen to put a miserable Euro 2024 qualifying campaign behind them against one of the world's elite, Belgium.

The visitors are missing some of their star assets for the trip, including Manchester City maestro Kevin De Bruyne, but they will be expected to put on a show before they test themselves against stronger opposition in England on Tuesday.

Republic of Ireland vs Belgium Prediction

  • Belgium to win & over 1.5 goals @ 13/8
  • Lois Openda to score at any time @ 7/4

Team News

Ireland’s interim manager John O’Shea has seen Liam Scales and Troy Parrott withdraw from the squad through injury and he has opted not to call up any replacements.

However, Lyon defender Jake O'Brien, Blackburn forward Sammie Szmodics and Middlesbrough midfielder Finn Azaz are all in line to collect their first Ireland caps.

For Belgium, De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku have both been ruled out with groin injuries, while Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is another on the list of high-profile absentees.

Belgium have a wealth of Premier League talent in their squad and Jeremy Doku, Youri Tielemans, Leandro Trossard and Amadou Onana are all included.

Match Odds

Belgium are evens to win at the Aviva Stadium, with hosts Republic of Ireland 12/5 to secure a shock win.

The draw, which was the outcome when these two nations clashed in a friendly in Dublin two years ago, is available at 9/4.

With Belgium missing some leading lights a tight game is expected and under 2.5 goals is a 4/6 chance, while it is 11/10 that there are at least three goals at Lansdowne Road.

Belgium to win & over 1.5 goals @ 13/8

Belgium may be without De Bruyne and Lukaku, but they have still assembled a strong squad for their friendly double-header with Ireland and England.

Manchester City’s Doku, Trossard of Arsenal and RB Leipzig goal machine Lois Openda provide some serious attacking intent and should strike fear into an Ireland side who are playing their first match under interim boss O’Shea.

Belgium have gone unbeaten since the 2022 World Cup - a sequence of 10 internationals which has seen them finish top of Group F in Euro 2024 qualifying and record friendly successes over Germany and Serbia.

Minnows Gibraltar are the only team Ireland have beaten in their last nine internationals and, while they may be able to get an ageing Belgium backline, the Red Devils have a ruthless frontline that they can rely upon.

Belgium to win and over 1.5 goals at 13-8

Lois Openda to score at any time @ 7/4

It has been a slow start to Openda’s international career, with his first 14 caps yielding only two goals, but it is only a matter of time until he hits his stride.

Openda’s Bundesliga record this season tells you that as he has racked up 19 goals in 26 appearances for Leipzig, with only Bayern Munich hotshot Harry Kane and Stuttgart’s Serhou Guirassy proving more prolific.

With Lukaku sidelined, the 24-year-old should play a prominent role and he can celebrate by getting on the scoresheet.

Lois Openda to score anytime at 7-4

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