Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Prediction: France vs Belgium

Verdict: France win 

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Dachbet

In what is a heavyweight Round of 16 showdown on Monday evening, France will meet Belgium at the Merkur Spiel-Arena.

France

Starting with France, suffering major heartbreak out in Qatar 18 months ago as they relinquished their world crown, Les Bleus were seeking an immediate response on the major tournament stage this summer. However, although Didier Deschamps’ men might have opened up their European Championship adventure pencilled in as a standout title contender, they have failed to lay down any real marker. Missing out on what they had rightfully billed as a golden opportunity last week as they had to settle for a 1-1 stalemate against Poland, there has been some mounting pressure on Deschamps’ shoulders. Mustering just a single victory from any of their Group D appearances and forced to settle for a silver medal finish behind Austria, France have struggled to find any real stability since opening 2024.

Team News

Converting from the spot against Poland last week and opening his European Championship account, new Real Madrid icon Kylian Mbappe will lead out France on Monday evening and earn an 82nd International cap here. Handed a rest in Dortmund for Les Bleus’ final Group D appearance, Atletico Madrid ace Antoine Griezmann will make a full return.

Featuring in all 38 of Arsenal’s Premier League appearances last season, William Saliba will once again partner Bayern Munich defender Dayot Upamecano at the back. While Inter Milan striker Marcus Thuram might still be waiting to grab a maiden EURO 24 strike, the 26-year-old should come in and replace PSG youngster Bradley Barcola.

Belgium

As for Belgium, although the Red Devils might have eventually dragged themselves to a crucial knockout stage ticket, Domenico Tedesco’s men have come under real scrutiny this summer. With this seen as their golden generations final chance to get their hands on a maiden piece of international silverware, the former RB Leipzig boss saw his squad muster just a single victory from any of their three Group E appearances. Putting in another downbeat performance last time out as they signed off their Group E campaign with a 0-0 stalemate against Ukraine, Belgium appear to have a real challenge on their hands here. Hit with an action-packed 3-2 defeat when they last met France while in Nations League action back in October 2021, they have failed to muster a single victory from any of their six showdowns against the former world champions.

Team News

While Romelu Lukaku might still be waiting to open his EURO 24 account this summer, the Chelsea misfit will spearhead Belgium’s attack on Monday evening. Likewise, despite failing to make any kind of impact out in Germany over the past fortnight, Manchester City ace Kevin De Bruyne will lead out the Red Devils and earn a 104th international cap here.

Notching 12 Premier League strikes with Arsenal last season, Leandro Trossard will join Lukaku in the final third. While Amadou Onana might remain heavily lined with a move away from Everton this summer, the 22-year-old will partner Aston Villa’s Youri Tielemans at the heart of Tedesco’s midfield.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When France and Belgium last met back in October 2021 while in Nations League action, Les Bleus collected an action-packed 3-2 victory in Paris.
    • France have suffered just a single defeat from any of their last six showdowns against the Red Devils across all competitions.
    • The former world champions have recorded just a single victory from any of their previous four appearances across all formats.
    • Despite their attacking issues, Belgium have recorded a clean sheet in four of their last five matchups.
    • France have failed to record more than a single strike in all of their previous four consecutive appearances.

    Conclusion

    Although France might have failed to make any real EURO 24 statement this summer, Les Bleus are still pencilled in as a standout title contender. Looking to cash in on a Belgium squad that have shown some rather glaring issues over the past fortnight, Deschamps’ camp will be excited by a rampant record against Monday’s opponents. Including a 3-2 victory when they last met the Red Devils back in October 2021, they are unbeaten in all of their six previous battles.

    Verdict: France win

    Best Odds: 19/20

    Bookmaker: Dachbet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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