Venue: Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg
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Time: 7 pm Nigerian time
The article is all about Belgium vs France Formation, Belgium vs France prediction, Belgium vs France Head to head, Preview and Nigerian time with television schedule. of the first semi final of the 2018 World Cup in Russia
On Tuesday night, the city of Saint Petersburg would come to a halt as two of the biggest names in World Football clash in the first semi-final of the 2018 World Cup. France would take on their northern neighbours Belgium for a berth in the final.
Both teams have exciting, technically gifted players. The quality of the players on both sides should produce a gripping match with enough individual brilliance to light up the stadium.
France would be aiming for their third World Cup final and the first since 2006 when they lost to Italy.
After the impressive victory over Brazil in the quarter-final, Belgium would be on a high as they chase a first World Cup final and title.
Team News and expected formation
France Formation( 4-3-3)
Despite not scoring a goal, Coach Didier Deschamps is not expected to replace Olivier Giroud as France’s point man in the attack.
Blaise Matuidi is expected to return to the starting lineup after missing the last match against Uruguay due to suspension. The impressive Corentin Tolisso would be the player likely to make way.
There is no reason for a formation change by Deschamps at this stage of the competition. So expect to see a midfield three of Paul Pogba, Ngolo Kante, and Blaise Matuidi.
Up front, the starting players should remain unchanged with Olivier Giroud as the central striker with Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezemann flanking him and feeding off his holdup play.
The central defensive partnership of Umtiti and Varane is expected to start barring any last minute, unexpected injuries. Pavard and Hernandez would retain their spots as the starting right-back and left-back respectively.
France possible starting lineup: Lloris, Pavard, Umtiti, Varane, Hernandez, Kante, Pogba, Matuidi, Griezemann, Mbappe, Giroud.
Belgium Formation Against France(3-4-2-1) In the 2018 world cup Semi Final
A major decision would have to be made by the Belgian Coach Roberto Martinez on who replaces Thomas Meunier. The right wing-back is serving a one-match suspension.
This match might see the return of Carrasco to play in midfield if Martinez reverts back to his preferred 3-4-2-1 formation. He had used a 4-3-3 in the win over Brazil with Lukaku and Hazard playing out wide and De Bruyne as a false nine.
The lineup against France should feature Kompany, Vertonghen, and Alderweireld in a three-man central defense. The midfield is expected to be manned by Carrasco, Fellaini Witsel, and Chadli.
Chadli and Carrasco are also likely to play the roles of wing-backs
De Bruyne and Hazard would provide support for leading scorer Lukaku upfront.
Possible Belgium starting lineup: Courtois, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen, Chadli, Witsel, Fellaini, Carrasco, De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku.
Belgium vs France Head To Head
Both countries have met 73 times in the past in all competitions. Belgium have the upper hand with 30 wins to France’s 24 victories.
However, in competitive international matches (Euro and World Cup) the two countries have clashed just three times. France have won all.
One of the victories was a 5 – 0 defeat of Belgium in the group stage of the European Championship in 1984.
The other two French victories are 3 – 1 in the 1938 World Cup and 4 – 2 in the third-place match of the 1986 World Cup.
Prediction Of Belgium vs France In the 2018 world cup Semi Final
France started the tournament unimpressively but have grown in stature over the last 3 weeks. They are coming into their peak form at just the right time.
This was exemplified by the victory over Uruguayan the quarter-final. It was clinical and efficient.
Belgium, on the other hand, started strongly and have continued on that trajectory. The win over Brazil in the quarter-final should count as the biggest in their history.
This is a match-up between two equally matched sides. But the momentum is with Belgium at the moment. Besides, they are due a victory over France in a major tournament.
Don’t be surprised if the winner is decided via the lottery penalty shootouts after extra time.
However, if a winner were to emerge within regulation time, Belgium have a slight, albeit not too significant edge over France.
Nigeria News prediction: Belgium to win 2 – 1.