Belgium and France lock horns in the second 2021 UEFA Nations League semifinal. Who will win this traditionally hotly-contested fixture? Find here our Belgium vs France predictions, the 2021 Nations League semifinal, probable line-ups, best odds, how to watch the game on TV and free bets.
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How to watch Belgium v France
Belgium vs Portugal, which takes place at the Allianz Stadium, Turin, on Thursday night, is live on Sky Sports and kicks off at 7.45pm.
Sky Sports subscribers will also be able to watch the match live online via the Sky Go app.
Belgium vs France Betting Preview
After easing to top spot in their Euro 2020 group stage - winning against Russia (3-0), Denmark (2-1) and Finland (2-0) - Belgium beat Portugal in the last 16-round but went out of the tournament at the hands of eventual winners Italy with a 2-1 quarter-final loss. Since then, the Red Devils claimed three victories from three in World Cup Qualifying fixtures with Estonia, the Czech Republic and Belarus - scoring nine goals and conceding just two.
France have been far from their fluent best in recent times, drawing five games in a row before winning 2-0 at home to Finland last time out. The winless run also included the 3-3 draw against Switzerland at the Euros, with Les Blues then knocked out by La Nati on penalties. Last month's World Cup Qualifiers saw the current World Champions sharing the spoils with Bosnia & Herzogovina at home and Ukraine away. The poor recent results may have urged Deschamps to rethink his side’s approach
There is a fierce rivalry between these two neighboring nations. The rivalry is made that bit hotter by Les Bleus having edged out the Red Devils (1-0) when they last met - it was the World Cup semi-final in July 2018 and Belgium’s first defeat in 25 games!
Belgium (3-4-2-1): Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Castagne, Witsel, Tielemans, Carrasco; E. Hazard, De Bruyne; Lukaku
Kevin De Bruyne missed the recent World Cup qualifiers due to injury, but the Manchester City midfielder is available for selection. Former Chelsea star Eden Hazard is "not at his best physically" but may also start, while right wing-back Thomas Meunier has been ruled out by injury. Forwards Dries Mertens and Jeremy Doku are sidelined. Christian Benteke and Divock Origi will also play no part, meaning that Charles De Katelaere and Leandro Trossard are the offensive alternatives for Roberto Martinez. Youri Tielemans and Axel Witsel ought to form a familiar midfield pairing for the Red Devils, while Dedryck Boyata will hope to edge out Jason Denayer for the final centre-back spot alongside Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.
France (4-3-2-1): Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernandez; Rabiot, Pogba, Tchouameni; Griezmann; Mbappe, Benzema
N'Golo Kante will be absent following a positive covid-19 test and is likely to be replaced by Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year Aurelien Tchouameni. Up front, Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappè and Antoine Griezmann are likely to lead the line, while Olivier Grouds has not been called up. At the back, Presnel Kimpembe and Raphael Varane should be paired at the heart, Lucas Hernandez should start as left back, with Benjamin Pavard returning to right-back over Jules Kounde.
Belgium v France Predictions
The absence of Kante will be a huge blow to a strugglins France side. Belgium have recorded eight wins from their last nine in all tournaments and, although their ageing defence remains a concern, we can envisage Roberto Martinez's men being able to advance to the final. The 2-1 scoreline is our pick in the Correct Score market while Romelu Lukaku is our recommended bet in the first goalscorer market. Since we’ve seen goals at both ends in five of the last six matches France played across competitions, the Both Teams To Score seems to be the most logical betting option.
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As a signature tournament of the month for the most popular sport in the world, almost every online sportsbook and betting site will offer odds for the UEFA NAations League. Check out the best football betting sites available where you live.