Cyprus take on Belgium at the GSP stadium in Nicosia on Sunday night (9.45pm) in their second Euro 2020 qualifying game
Cyprus began their campaign on Thursday with an easy 5-0 thrashing of San Marino, but it will be a totally different story on Sunday as Cyprus will come up against a star-studded Belgium side that includes the likes of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, the Tottenham defensive duo of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Aderweireld and Napoli’s Dries Mertens to name but a few.
The only positive news for Cyprus is that Belgium have a number of key players unavailable. Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne, Axel Witzel and Vincent Company were all left behind as they are still nursing injuries while defender Dedryck Boyata did not make the trip due to personal reasons.
Cyprus coach Ran Ben Simon will be sweating on the fitness of two of his most influential players, Juventus’ Grigoris Kastanos and FC Copenhagen striker Pieros Sotiriou, who limped off the field on Thursday after scoring two penalties inside the opening 24 minutes.
Simon is expected to adopt a much more defensive approach than in the game against San Marino in an effort to contain Belgium’s free-flowing football and try to catch their opponents on the break.
Since 2015, Belgium have won all four games they have played against Cyprus, scoring 13 goals in the process and conceding none.
In their opening game of Euro 2020 qualifying, Belgium beat Russia 3-1.