Belgium vs France Preview 07/10/2021
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Belgium and France go head-to-head in the second UEFA Nations League semi-final at Juventus’ Allianz Stadium on Thursday.
By the time the two sides kick off in Turin, they will know their final opponents, with Italy and Spain meeting in the first semi-final on Wednesday.
🔥🔥 #DEVILTIME pic.twitter.com/qlkvrAVXXB
— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) October 4, 2021
Belgium and France haven’t faced each other since the 2018 FIFA World Cup, when Les Blues beat the Red Devils 1-0 in the semi-finals.
Can the Belgians come out on top this time around? Or will the French win again? Let’s take a closer look at the teams.
Belgium head into Thursday’s clash on a three-match winning streak, having claimed three World Cup qualifying victories in September.
Roberto Martinez’s men saw off Estonia (5-2), Czech Republic (3-0) and Belarus (1-0) last month, scoring a combined total of nine goals while keeping two clean sheets.
When you look at the bigger picture, the Red Devils have only lost one of their previous 17 games in all competitions – July’s 2-1 defeat to Italy at Euro 2020.
They have also won eight of their past nine matches across all competitions, underlining their undeniable quality.
It is also worth noting that Belgium have won by at least two goals in each of their previous four home games in the Nations League.
France, on the other hand, have endured somewhat of a testing period during the second half of 2021 – pointing towards a downturn.
After winning one and drawing two of their three group games at this summer’s European Championship, they were knocked out by Switzerland in the last 16.
Since then, Didier Deschamps’ side have remained unbeaten, although they only managed to win one of their three World Cup qualifiers last month.
Les Blues were held to a 1-1 draw by both Bosnia & Herzegovina and Ukraine before edging out Finland 2-0 in their most recent encounter.
Head-to-head: As we know, France won the previous meeting between the teams – claiming 1-0 victory in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.
Still, that is France’s only win in their last four matches against Belgium. The Red Devils claimed a 4-3 friendly victory over Les Blues in 2015, while the two meetings prior ended goalless.
Team news: Club Brugge’s Charles De Ketelaere makes the Belgium squad, with Jeremy Doku and Dries Mertens unavailable for selection.
France welcome back Karim Benzema, alongside Kylian Mbappe. There is also a spot for Manchester United’s Anthony Martial.
With so much at stake, the two sides are likely to produce a tense affair with very few goalscoring opportunities.
PlusBet.net predicts that Belgium and France will play out a goalless draw in normal time, with extra-time – and maybe even penalties – required to decide who makes the final.