UEFA Nations League team news and prediction

 UEFA Nations League team news and prediction

UEFA Nations League team news and prediction

UEFA Nations League team news and prediction: Belgium vs France

The second UEFA Nations League semi-final pits Belgium against France. After disappointing showings at Euro 2020, both nations will look to book a spot in the final against either Italy or Spain in the first meeting between the pair since the 2018 World Cup.

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Ahead of this one, we provide all the pre-match information, including what time this game kicks off, where to watch the action, team news and probable XIs…

 

When is kick-off?

Thursday 7th October, 19:45 GMT

Where is the match?

Juventus Stadium, Turin (Italy)

What TV channel is it on?

Sky Sports Football

Group Stage Recap

UEFA Nations League team news and prediction

UEFA Nations League team news and prediction
The last time they faced each other during a major competition

Belgium were superb in Group 2 as they secured top spot with five wins from six games. Their sole defeat came at the hands of England, a match they dominated, as Roberto Martinez’s side finished five points clear of the Three Lions and Denmark. With their Golden Generation getting on, Belgium would love nothing more than to secure silverware, even if that is just the UEFA Nations League.

Drawn in arguably the toughest League A group, France made light work of Croatia, Sweden and, importantly, Portugal. They went through Group 3 unbeaten, earning 16 points from their six matches with the only blip on the record book a 0-0 draw with A Selecao. That said, France do come into this clash on a run of just one win in six, which includes two draws and a defeat at Euro 2020.

 

Team News

 

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez left Dries Mertens, Christian Benteke and Divock Origi out of his squad for the UEFA Nations League clash, but he has no injury issues. Martinez must decide who starts alongside experienced duo Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in the three-man defence, with Dedryck Boyata the likely candidate to start. Hans Vanakan and Leandro Trossard have been in great form for Club Bruges and Brighton, respectively, but may still have to settle for a spot on the bench.

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N’Golo Kante tested positive for COVID-19 last week and is unavailable for Didier Deschamps, which could see the France boss move to a three-man defence in order to provide extra protection to goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Monaco youngster Aurelien Tchouameni could therefore start in the middle of the park alongside Paul Pogba and potentially one other should Deschamps decide to continue with a 4-3-1-2 setup. Anthony Martial was forced off in Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Everton prior to the international break and will be assessed. Lucas and Theo Hernandez could both start in defence, and become the first brothers to play together in the France national team since March 1974 in the process.

 

Probable XIs

UEFA Nations League team news and prediction

UEFA Nations League team news and prediction
Possible line up for the match between the two teams

Belgium (3421) – Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, Tielemans, Witsel, T. Hazard; E. Hazard, De Bruyne; Lukaku

 

France (4312) – Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, L. Hernandez; Rabiot, Tchouameni, Pogba; Griezmann; Benzema, Mbappe

 

Key Battle: Romelu Lukaku vs Karim Benzema

UEFA Nations League team news and prediction

UEFA Nations League team news and prediction
Stats between Lukaku and Karim Benzema

Belgium’s all-time goalscorer has been in excellent form for his country of late. Romelu Lukaku won his 100th Belgium cap against the Czech Republic last month and marked the occasion with a goal and an assist. His strike in the victory means he has scored 67 times for his country, a fine achievement for the Chelsea star, who admittedly has been out of sorts for the Blues in recent weeks.

 

It’s the polar opposite for Karim Benzema, who has been superb in the opening weeks of the La Liga season, yet struggled for the national team last month. Indeed, the Frenchman has had a direct hand in more goals (16) than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues this season, scoring nine times. The in-form player on the continent, Benzema will hope to score on his UEFA Nations League debut to fire France to the final.

 

Score Prediction: Belgium 1-1 France

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