The first of the World Cup 2018 semi finals sees France take on Belgium in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday and it looks a very tricky game to call.
Outright Betting Update:
We are down to the final 4 teams and coming into the first semi final France are favourites to go on to lift the trophy at around 2/1, England are trading in the region of 5/2 with Belgium 28/10 and Croatia 4/1.
Quarter Finals: France saw off Uruguay with a 2-0 win in the last 8, a deserved victory courtesy of a goal in each half from Varane and then Griezmann. The second goal came from a goalkeeping error but Les Bleus were pretty dominant throughout and they are one step away from their first final since 2006.
Last 16: France came through a riveting last 16 meeting with Argentina with a 4-3 win. They led 1-0 early doors but goals either side of the break saw Argentina go 2-1 in front. France hit back with 3 goals in an 11 minute second half spell and although Argentina pulled a goal back deep into injury time, Les Bleus had done enough.
Group Stage: France came through Group C as winners, unbeaten with 2 wins and 1 draw to finish 2 points clear of Denmark. They won their first 2 matches of the tournament to book their place in the knockout rounds, edging past Australia 2-1 and Peru 1-0.
With qualification sealed they made 6 changes to their line up for the final group match against Denmark. The Danes needed a point to seal qualification in that game and France were happy enough to settle for that outcome as the teams played out a 0-0 draw.
Griezmann 3 (2 pens)
1 own goal
Quarter finals: Belgium came up against Brazil in the quarters, they started the game as underdogs but emerged with a 2-1 victory in regulation time. It was a terrific contest which saw Belgium get their tactics spot on and although there were heart stopping moments in their penalty area early in the game and in the second half, their counter attack also had Brazil in trouble on numerous occasions. An own goal on 13 minutes and a cracker from De Bruyne on 31 gave Belgium daylight and although Brazil pulled 1 back on 76 minutes Belgium held on. The only negative was a yellow card for defender Thomas Meunier who will sit this one out through suspension.
Last 16: Belgium were involved in another cracking contest in the last 16. They were short priced favourites for their clash with Japan but after the first half finished without a goal they conceded twice in the first 7 minutes of the second period. The fightback was launched on 69 minutes, Belgium were level on 74 minutes and they completed the comeback in the last minute of injury time to maintain their 100% record.
Group Stage: Only 2 sides came through the group stage with a 100% record, Uruguay in Group A and Belgium in Group G. The Belgian’s began with a 3-0 win over Panama with all their goals coming in the second half before they sprang out of the blocks quickly on their way to a 5-2 win over Tunisia. Those 2 victories sealed qualification alongside England who they met in their final group match. Roberto Martinez was quick to state he would be making wholesale changes to his side but that didn’t stop Belgium winning 1-0.
Hazard 2 (1 pen)
De Bruyne 1
Own goal 1
Recent Head to Head
07/06/15 INTF France 3-4 Belgium
14/08/13 INTF Belgium 0-0 France
15/11/11 INTF France 0-0 Belgium
The Betting - Bet Now
Match Result: (90 minutes)
Note, odds quoted are an approximate average and are correct at the time of last update but are subject to change
There seems to be very little between these 2 quality sides and I’ll side with a draw in 90 minutes. I don’t’ see France affording De Bruyne anything like the sort of space he enjoyed against Brazil and likewise Griezmann is likely to be policed heavily by the Belgian defence.
Bets: 90 minute result, draw at 21/10
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