In the UEFA Nations League semi-final, Belgium will face France, which is expected to be a top-drawer match. The two teams will meet for the first time since France knocked Belgium out of the 2018 World Cup semi-finals. Even if Roberto Martinez denies it, revenge will be on Belgium's mind heading into this match. They have performed well in recent contests, winning four of their previous five games and scoring in each of those games.
Belgium has kept three clean sheets in five games and scored more than two goals in three of those five games, while scoring two or more goals in five of the last eight.They've only lost once in their last 17 games, and they've won three consecutive matches since their Euro 2020 elimination. Belgium is the world's top-ranked squad, and while Martinez has done a good job with the team, the fact that he hasn't produced a trophy stands out. This is one area that they seek to improve.
France hasn't lost in a while, but they haven't won much either. They are coming off a 2-0 win over Finland, which was their first win after five consecutive draws. Switzerland eliminated them from Euro 2020 after a post-match penalty shoot-out. Both teams have scored in five of France's six matches so far, with the world champions keeping only one clean sheet in the process. Antoine Griezmann has been in excellent form for Les Bleus recently, and he will be one of the players anticipated to lead France to continental glory.
Olivier Giroud has been left out, but Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has returned to full fitness and should be ready to provide Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe with extra alternatives. This will be only the second competitive encounter between these two countries in the last 35 years, but they have played eight friendly matches in the meantime. In their last six Nations League games, France has gone undefeated.
Belgium has the better record heading into this game, and they have unfinished business with France, the team that knocked them out of the 2018 World Cup. Belgium, which has a plethora of great players, will not want to miss out on this opportunity to win a trophy. France has struggled in recent matches and performed poorly at the Euros, so a victory for Belgium is more realistic.
Kickoff Time: The match will be played on Thursday at 7:45 PM Nigerian time.
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