It took a while for France to kick into high gear. But that time has arrived now. Les Bleus are playing their best football of the World Cup. And if timing is indeed everything we are about to find out. Manager Didier Deschamps’ team has a dangerous semifinal opponent. Belgium has the skill and depth to match France. But questions remain about their defense. The French are a small bet the World Cup chalk in this match. And it may be defense as the reason why. But holding Belgium in check will be a supreme challenge.
2018 FIFA World Cup Belgium vs. France
Date and Time: Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 2 p.m. ET
Location: Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg
World Cup Betting Online Odds at SBG:
|Belgium||PK (+115)||2½ (+110)|
|France||PK (-130)||2½ (-125)|
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: FOX
France Unpromising Start
France had an inauspicious start to the World Cup. They barely got past pesky Australia in their opener 2-1. That was despite the fact that Les Bleus were heavy bet the World Cup favorites. Aziz Behich got the winning goal at the 81 minute mark. Perhaps it was the jitters of a first match. Deschamps had a team that underwhelmed. Against tricky Peru in the second match things improved. France won 1-0. Peru was not an easy out. Their unique tactics make them a challenging opponent. Les Bleus third match was a dull dud. A scoreless draw against Denmark.
Group C Winners by Default
France won Group C by default. In was in the knockout round that they earned considerable sports betting cache. In the round of 16 they faced perhaps the world’s greatest player. Lionel Messi makes Argentina a threat against anyone. France won a 4-3 thriller. Les Bleus rallied from a 2-1 deficit. Two quick goals put them up 4-2. Argentina got a late consolation score. But to no avail. In the quarterfinal Uruguay had no answers against Deschamps. France scored a thoroughly impressive 2-0 win.
Belgium’s Impressive Start
Belgium was far more impressive in Group play. All three of their matches were victories. Nine goals were scored in the process. It began with a 3-0 thrashing of Panama. Next was a 5-2 pummeling of Tunisia. Group G was clinched with a 1-0 Red Devils win over England. Japan was a tougher than expected Round of 16 opponent. Belgium needed a Nacer Chadli goal in extra time to win 3-2.
But in the quarterfinal Belgium established its true contender status. Brazil was a 2-1 victim. The Red Devils staked an early 2-0 lead. Then they held on for dear life. Brazil threw a relentless onslaught at Belgium. But Canarinho could not close. Manager Roberto Martinez was vindicated. He defeated the great Tite. For once Martinez gained long sought respect.
There will be plenty of firepower on the pitch in this one. Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku has four goals. Ed Hazard has two with potential for more. Kevin De Bruyne is the best midfielder in the game. But the French tandem of Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann are lethal. Each has three goals in the tournament.
Matchup to Watch
Mbappe and Griezmann are the bet the World Cup difference here. They should find opportunity against the inconsistent Belgium back end.
Bet the World Cup: World Cup Betting Odds Picks
France to advance to the final!
World Cup Betting Online Pick: France
World Cup Betting Online Score Prediction: France 2, Belgium 1
Catch highlights of France’s impressive win over Uruguay!