2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: France vs Belgium

Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 27/25

Bookmaker: 888sport

In a game that has been dubbed as “The Final before the Final”, France and Belgium will determine which team will become the first side to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final. Dubbed by many as the two best teams left in the competition, we could be in line for a thrilling encounter between two attacking-minded teams. Who will come out on top? France are looking to reach their third World Cup final in the last 20 years, while Belgium are vying for their first-ever decisive match. The match kicks-off at 20:00 hrs (BST) at Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg. Andres Cunha (Uruguay) will be the referee.


France will meet a European side only for the second time during the current World Cup, as their previous opponents outside of Denmark included Australia, Peru, Argentina and Uruguay. These two historic nations were Les Bleus’ opponents during the Round of 16 and the quarter-finals, respectively, but Didier Deschamps’ men brushed them aside with relative ease. A brilliant performance from Kylian Mbappe lifted France to a 4-3 win over Argentina, and goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann secured an easier-than-expected 2-0 victory over Uruguay the last time out. However, things will be far more complicated for France this time around. Not only they are set to take on one of the top European sides at the moment, but this will also be their tougher opponent in quite a while. France will need to show their maturity here. The win will not only confirm France’s place in the Final, but it also show that the team is ready to become the world powerhouse everyone expects them to be sooner than later.

Team News

France will be at full strength ahead of this game. Deschamps will recover Blaise Matuidi, who missed the quarterfinals game vs Uruguay due to a suspension.

The one doubtful player is Samuel Umtiti. The FC Barcelona centre-back has a knee injury, and his availability will depend on a fitness test closer to kick-off.


Belgium has finally lived up to the hype surrounding them! The Red Devils have equaled their best World Cup in history – they also reached the semi-finals in Mexico 1986 – but now the team wants more. After a thrilling 3-2 win over Japan during the Round of 16, Belgium had their best game of the tournament during the quarter-finals, where they dispatched Brazil to the tune of a 2-1 win where Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku looked virtually unstoppable. Roberto Martinez’s men arrive to the semifinals with a lot of momentum their way heading into this match, but France is not going to be an easy opponent. Will Belgium be up to the challenge? After all, they have won their five World Cup matches, and their road has been significantly tougher than France’s one. If they play at their best and similar to what they did against Brazil, then Belium have a decent chance of reaching the country’s first FIFA World Cup final in the nation’s history.

Team News

The former Everton manager will have a big absence since Thomas Meunier is out due to suspension. The PSG right-back received his second yellow card against Brazil.

Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco and Thorgan Hazard could be alternatives to replace Meunier.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Friends and foes at the same time? Paul Pogba will go against Marouane Fellaini. This means that the club will have at least one representative in the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.
  • Belgium have scored at least two goals in all but one game during this competition. In fact, four of Belgium’s five games have witnessed over 2.5 goals scored.
  • Deadly duo: Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann have scored six of France’s nine goals between them.
  • Three of the last four meetings between the sides have produced under 2.5 goals in total.
  • Both sides know what is like to turn results around during the current World Cup campaign. France came back from a 1-2 deficit against Argentina, while Belgium turned an 0-2 defeat into a 3-2 win over Japan. Both matches happened during the Round of 16.


There is no question we are about to witness a very open game. One where the stakes will be extremely high between two attacking-minded sides.

I don’t expect either side to sit back and play negative. Therefore, we could easily witness more than 2.5 goals scored.

Verdict: Over 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 27/25

Bookmaker: 888sport

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