The clash between France and Belgium will be played at the Saint-Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on July 10th. The Red Devils never defeated France in the previous encounters at the World Cup, but this is a perfect opportunity for the first victory over the neighbors, while the Blues are trying to reach the first finals since 2006 and a defeat to Italy.
France vs. Belgium
Three-Way: 1: France +154; X: +225 Draw; 2: Belgium +210 (Odds provided by Delaware Park Sportsbook)
Spread 0: France -143; Belgium +110
Total 2.5 goals: Over +106; Under -139
Sign up for a FREE Trial Consultation to start working with Legendary Sports Bettor Jon Price
France didn’t impress in the group stage but they did top the group after finishing without a loss and with seven points, while the only goal they conceded came from the penalty spot. Despite scoring just three goals in the opening three games and playing a part in the only scoreless game at the tournament, the Blues scored four to knock out Argentina in a 4-3 victory in the Round of 16, while their defense was immense in the quarter-final tilt against Uruguay, but in all fairness, they had an easier job to keep the Sky Blues from scoring as the Uruguayans were without injured Edinson Cavani.
Didier Deschamps’ men managed to control Luis Suarez who didn’t attempt a single shot at goal, while Hugo Lloris pulled off a great save to prevent Martin Caceres from equalizing only a few minutes following Raphael Varane’s opener. France had plenty of luck on the other end as Fernando Muslera made a big error when he failed to handle Antoine Griezmann’s attempt from outside the box, and that mistake proved to be costly to Uruguay.
On the other hand, Belgium won all five games at the World Cup, and unlike Croatia, who also won every game so far, the Red Devils’ both wins in the knockout came in regular 90 minutes. Roberto Martinez’s side secured the top spot in the group quite comfortably as they ended with maximum nine points and left England in the second position, but Japan nearly upset them in the Round of 16 as the Samurai Blue had a 2-0 lead with half an hour to go. However, Belgium responded with two quick goals and scored a winner in the 94th minute, and although they were on the brink of World Cup exit, the Red Devils showed character and winning mentality that can only help them in the pursuit of the title here in Russia.
This golden generation didn’t make notable results in the past few big competitions, but it seems that their time finally came, and the fact that they are in a position to fight for the medal at the World Cup for the first time since 1986 says it all.
Players to watch
Antoine Griezmann scored his first goal from an open play thanks to a horrible mistake from Muslera, but in general, Atletico Madrid’s forward has a rather quite tournament and his qualities are needed, so this could be the game where he’ll explode.
Eden Hazard had ten successful dribbles out of ten attempts against Brazil, becoming the first player to achieve that at the World Cup since 1966, and every time he had a ball on his feet, Hazard was a danger to the Brazilians. The French know his well and will try to stop him at any cost, but Hazard can decide the game with a single move.
France: Lloris; Pavard, Umtiti, Varane, Lucas; Kante, Pogba; Matuidi (Tolisso), Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud.
Belgium: Courtois; Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Kompany; Meunier, Fellaini, Witsel, Chadli (Carrasco); De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku.
France’s chances to win the World Cup are now +200, while the Blues are -120 to reach the finals. Belgium’s chances to win the World Cup are now +275, while the Blazers are +110 to reach the finals.
France is a favorite at +154, but both teams have the quality to go all the way and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Belgians in their first-ever finals because this generation deserves it. I think that this tilt will not be settled in 90 minutes, but I also believe we will not see a bore 0-0 draw, so I am backing goals on both ends.
The Pick: Both teams to score YES (-115)