Ahead of their Group E clash in Nice on Wednesday, Sweden and Belgium UAE-based fans give their verdict on the game.
To gain an insight into the mindset of the fans we asked UAE fans to share with us their predictions, likely line-ups and players to watch.
Do you agree or have they missed the mark? Use #360Fans to share with us your thoughts.
BELGIUM – Herwig Devolder (Freight Forwarder, Dubai)
Overall, it was an easy win against Ireland but to be honest it did not provide a real test for our team. We still can, and should, improve. There were of course plenty of positives in the 3-0 win, our fast counter-attacking play returned after its absence against Italy and we are so dangerous when we play on the break, exemplified by Lukaku’s second goal which saw us break from one end of the pitch to the other in only a couple of passes.
Axel Witsel also had a great game at No. 6, while Thomas Meunier played well at full-back despite not having much previous international experience. Ireland failed to get a single shot on goal, a sign that the defence finally had a good game!
Still, though, Belgium must get better at converting our dominant possession into real chances. There is certainly a chance to do that against Sweden, who have looked very ordinary so far at Euro 2016. We last played against them on home soil at Euro 2000, winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Bart Goor and Emile Mpenza. Obviously Zlatan Ibrahimovic wasn’t playing then – he can score out of nothing and I’d worry about our chances of coming back from 1-0 down.
PREDICTION: Belgium 2-1 Sweden
LIKELY BELGIUM XI: Courtois; Meunier, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertongen; Witsel, Nainggolan; De Bruyne, Mertens, Hazard; Lukaku.
BELGIUM PLAYER TO WATCH: Dries Mertens – With Yannick Carrasco still injured, I’m looking forward to watching Mertens. The Napoli winger has some serious speed and can definitely cause damage to the Sweden defence.
SWEDEN PLAYER TO FEAR: Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Has anyone picked another Sweden player?! The fact he hasn’t scored yet worries me slightly. The coiled spring could be ready to surprise us.
WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: Belgian Beer Café at Souk Madinat. Good Belgian atmosphere, beer and food.
SWEDEN – Bengt Ternstrom (Chief executive, Dubai)
Against Ireland we showed resilience but against Italy a lack of focus really cost us; it was late delight in the first game, late despair in the second. You just can’t switch off in international football and that’s what happened at the end of the game in Toulouse. Yes, it was a great strike by Eder but there is a great picture which shows five Swedish players around him when he hits it – more should have been done to stop the shot or get the block in.
Embarrassingly, Sweden are now the first team not to have mustered a single shot on target in the first two games of the European Championship since 1980. Not a favourable stat! The over-reliance on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has just announced his international retirement after the conclusion of the tournament, is becoming unbearable, particularly as he has been totally unable to replicate the incredible form he enjoyed playing in France all season for PSG.
Victory seems unlikely but at least the point in our opening game gives us an outside chance of qualifying. It will be really tough facing a Belgium team that finally appeared to come together in unison against Ireland. Hopefully they will replicate the performance against Italy instead, where they looked a lot less cohesive.
PREDICTION: Belgium 1-1 Sweden
LIKELY SWEDEN XI: Isaksson; Lustig, Lindelof, Granqvist, Olsson; Durmaz, Kallstrom, Hiljemark, Forsberg; Berg, Ibrahimovic.
SWEDEN PLAYER TO WATCH: Kim Kallstrom – It’s time we stopped relying on Zlatan and in Grasshoppers playmaker Kallstrom we have someone who can definitely make things happen going forward. He also boasts excellent delivery from set-pieces which may prove our best hope of getting a goal.
BELGIUM PLAYER TO FEAR: Romelu Lukaku – The Everton striker opened his account at Euro 2016 in style against Ireland. He’s quick, he’s powerful, and now he’s in form too. We should be scared!
WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: ON42 at the Media One Hotel.
Ronaldo was walking with his Portugal teammates, followed by a harem of reporters and photographers, as is the case with most of the teams at Euro 2016.
But as one reporter approached the Real Madrid man with his microphone, Ronaldo took particular displeasure.
He proceeded to rip the microphone from the journalist’s hand and throw it into the adjacent lake.
Hardly believable for someone so conscious of their own image but hardly surprising given the immense pressure on an under-performing Ronaldo & co.
Go on then, one more time…
Ronaldo has a frosty relationship with the channel that the reporter works for, CMTV, having previously been involved with a court case against the broadcasters.
Reports in Turkey claimed that Mor’s international teammates were unimpressed with the act, which they viewed as frivolous, while it was also suggested that the new Borussia Dortmund signing is struggling to be accepted in the dressing-room as he doesn’t speak Turkish.
But Mor, who was born and raised in Denmark, moved to allay fears of any discord after playing a starring role in Turkey’s 2-0 victory over Czech Republic at Euro 2016.
“All of the Turkey players have helped me so much, they have all been very nice,” Mor told Sport360 after the game.
“All the talk that my teammates don’t like me, it is all bulls***. They like me very much, they treat me like a little brother.
“I understand some things in Turkish but I’m not so good at talking yet. Of course I know I have to learn.
“Listen, I’m 18 years old and I’ve never played at this level before so of course I want to take a selfie with one of the best players in the world.”
Mor’s eye-catching display delighted Turkey fans, who chanted the young midfielder’s name throughout the match in Lens.
“When the crowd chanted my name tonight, I got goosebumps,” Mor said. “I am lucky to play for two teams now [Dortmund and Turkey] where the fans are so amazing. It’s very good. I am really excited to play in front of the Dortmund fans as they are crazy too.”
After coming on as substitute in Turkey’s first game and not featuring in the second against Spain, Mor justified coach Fatih Terim’s decision to start him against Czech Republic, laying on the assist for Burak Yilmaz’s opener.
“It was okay the coach didn’t play me for the Spain match, I’m just happy to play now,” Mor said.
“He [Terim] told me that I should play like I normally do. Dribble, and if I lose it dribble again. All of the players said don’t be nervous just do your thing.
“I’m never nervous though – many people ask me this but I am not nervous, I am just enjoying playing football and enjoying playing for Turkey. I am proud to play for Turkey.”
Quizzed on comparisons with some of Europe’s best players in recent weeks, Mor said: “I enjoy watching Bale and Ronaldo at Real Madrid – Ronaldo has always been my favourite player. He’s the king.
“But I think I am just a player, Emre Mor. I don’t want to be anyone else.”