Belgium vs. France Tips, Preview and Predictions

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Two of the best teams in world football collide in the Nations League semi-finals, as Belgium play France in Turin on Thursday night. The Belgians are ranked number one on the planet, although the French are the reigning world champions and on the hunt for another trophy for their cabinet. 

Where and when: Allianz Stadium – 7 October, kick-off 19:45

Where you can see Belgium vs. France: Sky Sports

Last time: Samuel Umtiti scored the only goal of the game as France beat Belgium 1-0 in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

Belgium v France Predictions and Preview

This will be the first meeting between these two countries since France beat Belgium in the last four of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Les Bleus went on to become world champions for the second time in their history, while De Rode Duivels are still yet to win a major trophy, despite their lofty status in the rankings. 

Both of these teams are looking to secure a place in Sunday’s final at San Siro, where either Italy or Spain will await. Both countries are also aiming to bounce back following disappointing campaigns at this summer’s Euro 2020, where France went out on penalties to Switzerland in the round of 16 and Belgium lost in the quarter-finals to eventual champions Italy. 

There’ll be a spectacular array of quality on the pitch in this Belgium v France preview, and it could be as tight a game as the last time they met. That said, there’s undoubtedly less pressure on the two sets of players compared to the World Cup. With that in mind, a both teams to score bet here could be worth a look at 20/21

France are the narrow favourites for the win at 31/20, which you can combine with BTTS for odds of 17/4. Les Bleus haven’t been in great form since the Euros though, drawing 1-1 against both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ukraine in World Cup qualification, before beating Finland 2-0 last time out, courtesy of an Antoine Griezmann brace either side of half-time. 

Belgium are 11/5 to claim victory inside 90 minutes, with a draw at the end of normal time priced at 12/5. With extra time and penalties potentially on the cards, the French are 13/17 to qualify and the Belgians 11/10 in the same market. 

The Red Devils have been more convincing since the Euros, thrashing Estonia 5-2 and also beating the Czech Republic and Belarus to nil in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. Manager Roberto Martinez has been linked with Barcelona, but irrespective of whether this is to be his final trophy push for Belgium, the Spanish coach will be desperate to deliver a title for this golden generation of talent. 

Unfortunately for him and the Belgian players, a highly talented French side lie between them and the final. Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Karim Benzema spearhead the attack, while Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has also received a call-up and joins club mates Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane in Didier Deschamps’ squad. 

Belgium captain Eden Hazard has shown some signs of recapturing the sort of form that took him to Real Madrid over recent weeks. Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne is back to full fitness after his injury at the Euros, while Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku returns from suspension after missing the last match against Belarus. 

One to watch for Belgium: Lukaku has hit a dry spell after netting four goals in his first four games back at Chelsea. Belgium’s record goalscorer has failed to register in his last five appearances but enters this game as one of the favourites to break the deadlock. 

One to watch for France: Benzema has made a fast start to the season with Real Madrid, bagging 10 goals in 10 appearances so far in La Liga and the Champions League. He is also one of the favourites to strike first in these Belgium v France predictions. 

Long shot: There was only one goal the last time these countries met, while two of their previous three meetings finished goalless. The other game in that sequence was an action-packed 4-3 friendly victory for Belgium in 2015. Over 6.5 goals again in this game is 49/1 as part of your Belgium v France tips, while you can back the Red Devils to repeat that 4-3 success at 275/1

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