The first semifinal game of the World Cup 2018 will see France take on Belgium at the Saint-Petersburg Stadium. Dubbed as “final before the final”, this game has the potential to bring a lot of excitement to the fans, as both sides have been tremendous so far, especially when it comes to scoring goals. But, which side is gonna go to the real final? Maybe this match preview will help you find the answer!
With Brazil, Germany, and Spain getting knocked out of tournament early on, France are the biggest favorites for winning the trophy. Considering that the other semifinal is the duel between England and Croatia, it looks like France’s biggest challenge is the game against Belgium.
Of course, anything can happen in the final, so even if France beat Belgium, they mustn’t relax. But, the question is will they actually be able to beat one of the most impressive teams on this tournament. What gives them confidence is that their form seems to get better and better with every game. For example, they scored only 3 goals in 3 matches in the group stage, while they scored 4 in the Round of 16 match against Argentina. They also did very well in the quarterfinal, in which they managed to keep a clean sheet against Uruguay.
But, in the semifinal, keeping their net intact is going to be very difficult as they’re facing attacking-minded Belgium. Despite the fact that France defenders are first-team players at some of the world’s biggest clubs, their fans do appear fearful that they may make big mistakes. Their goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris had a couple of risky interventions in which he had a lot of luck not to concede a goal. Furthermore, France center-back, Samuel Umtiti handled the ball in the penalty area when they played against Australia.
But, even if France defenders get run over by Belgium forwards, it doesn’t mean this team will lose. France are superb in the attack, with players who seem capable of outscoring any team on the planet. Kylian Mbappe has been particularly impressive and with his incredible acceleration, he seems like a man who can outrun any defender. Of course, we mustn’t forget Antoine Griezmann, who’s perhaps their most talented player. And there’s also Olivier Giroud, who’s very motivated to score his first goal of the tournament.
The Red Devils have been a real joy to watch on this tournament. In fact, they’ve been playing beautiful football ever since Roberto Martinez (and his right-hand man Thierry Henry) got appointed Belgium manager. Surely, Martinez is famous for his attacking football philosophy, but it wouldn’t work without such amazing players at his disposal. If there’s a squad that can score goals, it’s Belgium.
And their attacking prowess has already been proven on this tournament. The fact that they’ve already scored a total of 14 goals at this World Cup shows how amazing they are in the final third. An even more important fact is that those goals were scored by 9 different players!
Kevin De Bruyne is their commander on the pitch, a guy who’s always involved when Belgium goes into attacks on opponent’s goal. But, he seldom scores, that’s primarily the job of Romelu Lukaku. Jokingly described by Rio Ferdinand as a player who “shouldn’t be allowed to play” for his incredible strength and fitness, Lukaku is currently Belgium’s top scorer with 4 goals to his name.
Apart from Lukaku, France defenders are guaranteed to have a lot of problems with Eden Hazard, who’s definitely one of the best dribblers on the planet. His ability to control the ball has annoyed Brazil defenders in the quarterfinal which brought Hazard one step closer to the Golden Ball award. If he does well against France and helps his team get to the final, his chances of being crown the best player of the tournament will go up significantly.
Lloris – Umtiti, Varane, Pavard, Hernandez – Kante, Matuidi, Pogba – Griezmann, Mbappe, Giroud
Courtois – Vertonghen, Kompany, Alderweireld – Fellaini, Witsel, Carrasco, Chadli, De Bruyne – Hazard, Lukaku
France vs. Belgium Match Prediction
There’s absolutely no doubt we’re gonna see lots of goals in this game. But, which team will we see in the final of the World Cup 2018? France are favorites here, but I think Belgium might surprise the pundits.
France vs. Belgium Betting Tips
- BTS @1.80 (bet365)
- Over 2.5 Goals @2.10 (bet365)
- Belgium to Advance to the Final @2.12 (Unibet)