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Russia may defeat Belgium at 2020 UEFA Euro Cup’s home qualifier — AS Monaco’s Golovin

The qualifier is scheduled for November 16
Alexander Golovin  Valery Sharifulin/TASS
Alexander Golovin
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, August 6. /TASS, Andrey Kartashov/. The national football team of Russia has all chances of defeating Belgium at home this fall in the return group stage qualifier for the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup, Russian midfielder of AS Monaco told TASS on Tuesday.

The qualifier between the Russian and Belgian national teams at the stadium in the Russian second-largest city of St. Petersburg is scheduled for November 16, 8 pm local time. Russia played its away qualifier against Belgium on March 21 losing 1-3.

"Our first match against Belgium did not go well at all, it seemed that we were scared of them and this is why we didn’t play," Golovin said in an interview with TASS. "The result would have been different if we played audaciously and this is why we will be playing audaciously at home to have more chances to win."

The Russian squad is currently 2nd in its Group I with nine points after playing four matches -— against Belgium on March 21 (losing 1-3), Kazakhstan on March 24 (winning 4-0), San Marino on June 8 (winning 9-0) and Cyprus (1-0).

"It did not seem to me that Belgium was some sort of an extremely top national team," he stated. "This team is indeed very good, it should not be underestimated, but we lost to them only because of our own fear."

Golovin signed a five-year contract with AS Monaco in the summer of 2018 for an undisclosed sum. His previous CSKA Moscow FC announced in a statement back then that the transfer deal for Golovin was a record-breaker for the Russian football club.

Born in the Siberian town of Kaltan, the 23-year-old Golovin played a total of 113 matches for CSKA Moscow FC, including 23 matches as part of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League and also won the Russian Premier League (RPL) championship in 2016. He debuted in the Russian top division in 2015 at the age of 18.

At the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Golovin appeared in four matches for his national side scoring a goal and delivering two assists. In all, Golovin has registered 28 appearances playing for the Russian national squad throughout his career and scored three goals.

The Russian national football squad is also scheduled to play two more 2020 UEFA Euro Cup qualifiers in September — against Scotland in Glasgow on September 6 and against Kazakhstan on September 9 in Kaliningrad.

The matches of the 2020 Euro Cup will be held at stadiums in 12 different cities across Europe, namely in London (England), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

A total of 24 national football teams will face off in the final tournament of the 2020 Euro Cup. All the 55 UEFA national member teams, including 12 teams from the hosting countries, will have to play qualifying matches to vie for the berth in the final 24-team lineup of the quadrennial European football championship.

It is possible that some of the national teams from the hosting countries of the 2020 Euro Cup will not be playing on home soil in case they fail to clear the qualifying stage.