Belgium vs Romania preview, team news, tickets & prediction

Belgium is in action against Romania on Matchday 2 of the 2024 European Championship as both sides look to progress into the knockout rounds. Group E of Euro 2024 will see Belgium and Romania face off for the three points in a bid to reach the Round of 16. As the fourth nation in the FIFA world rankings, Belgium is a favorite for this one, but they must perform professionally to get the result. Both sides have won five and lost five of their 12 previous meetings, the most recent of which was a 2-1 for Romania in 2012. Now, they will likely write new chapters in their head-to-head history.

Belgium were unbeaten throughout their qualifying campaign with six wins, and two draws as they finished a point above Austria. Although the aim is to do better than their quarterfinal finish at the last two Euros, they still need to progress past the group stage at the 2022 FIFA World Cup and must be wary of complacency.

The fallout from that elimination saw the exit of Roberto Martínez after six years as Head Coach of the Red Devils, and Italian-German Domenico Tedesco replaced him. Taking charge of their first Euro 2024 qualifying match against Sweden, Tedesco enjoyed a winning debut thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s hat trick.

A 1-1 draw against Austria followed, but Belgium won their next three games without conceding a single goal. Qualification was clinched away to Austria as Dodi Lukabakio and Lukaku got on the scoresheet in a 3-2 victory.

The return leg against Sweden was canceled due to the murder of some match-going fans, so Belgium was able to commemorate the lives lost and conclude their qualifying campaign the following month with a 5-0 win against Azerbaijan as Lukaku finished as the top scorer.

Belgium is used to having a squad capable of going all the way, but it has struggled with the pressure at major tournaments. Nevertheless, the end of the ‘Golden Generation’ era could provide this current squad with the atmosphere needed to thrive and develop.

This means that Tedesco has a massive job to soak up expectations whilst filling his team with the necessary tools to perform.

This is a return to the European Championship after an eight-year absence for Romania.

The Tricolours have improved under the stewardship of Edward Iordanescu, as they finished top of their qualifying group with an unbeaten record of six wins and four draws. Even more impressive is that they did this with at least five points more than Switzerland and Israel.

They began their campaign with two wins and drew the next three. However, the second of those draws proved instrumental for their belief, having come from two goals down against the Swiss. Romania remained undefeated and secured qualification in the penultimate game against Israel when Ianis Hagi struck a second-half winner.

Even better was coming for the Romanians as they got the needed win on the final day against Switzerland to consolidate their position as group leaders. Everyone involved deserves credit for their impressive performances, which also showed good defensive solidity with only five goals conceded in ten games.

Romania hopes to repeat their heroics of Euro 2000, where they progressed from a group containing Portugal, England, and Germany before being knocked out by eventual runners-up, Italy, in the quarter-finals.

They will not take the opposition lightly, with Slovakia and one play-off winner still to join the group. Yet, they may shock their opponents and at least give themselves a chance of progressing as one of the best third-placed teams.

Match tickets

The match is set to take place on Saturday, 22 June 2024, with kick-off scheduled for 7 PM UK time. Match tickets are available for sale on the UEFA website, and a meticulous process is used to allocate them to registered supporters.

The RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne will host this clash, and the 50,000-capacity arena should have more Belgian fans in attendance due to its proximity to their home country. Nevertheless, it will be an epic occasion for both sets of fans, who will still harbor high hopes in the tournament’s second match.

There is everything to play for; hence, it should be a competitive clash. This is why the stadium would be quickly sold out, and getting tickets could be difficult.

Supporters who want to attend the game one way or another are advised to check ticket resale sites for any Belgium vs Romania tickets.

Team news

Jeremy Doku, Dodi Lukebakio, and Thorgan Hazard are all down with injuries at the time of writing. Still, a more unambiguous indication of the fitness issues will be available once the tournament begins.

There is a massive question over whether Thibaut Courtois can be fit enough to play for Belgium after suffering an ACL injury and missing most of the campaign. Romeo Lavia is another who has yet to feature this season but is already back in full training with Chelsea.

Meanwhile, star man Kevin De Bruyne has been injured for most of the season, but he will be back for the business end and should be ready by the start of the Euros.

Romania has no injury worries about their regular players except Tudor Baluta, who should fully recover long before the tournament.


Belgium is strong in firepower, with Lukaku finishing qualification with the most goals (14) and surpassing the previous record of Northern Ireland’s David Healy and Poland’s Robert Lewandowski for a single European Qualifiers campaign.

The primary focus should then be on striking a balance during the tournament as rivals look to test the strength of their defense.

Belgium: Sels; Castagne, Faes, Vertonghen, Theate; Mangala, Onana; Bakayoko, Openda, Doku; Lukaku

Romania has several key players, but none are more critical than captain Nicolae Stanciu and Ianis Hagi, son of Romania legend Gheorghe. Both men will provide the impetus from midfield, and the Tricolour must utilize any momentum they can get once the competition begins.

Romania: Moldovan; Ratiu, Dragusin, Burca, Bancu; Marin; Stanciu, Cicaldau, Hagi, Coman; Alibec


Belgium is a clear favorite to beat a side 39 places below them in the world rankings, and it is imperative that they put in a solid performance to build their confidence. Romania are no pushovers, as evidenced by their qualification campaign, but they will face a much better team in Cologne.

The quality in the Belgium ranks could be too much for Romania to handle.

Belgium 3-1 Romania


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Author: Ben Burd

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