Two of the world’s premier teams face off on Tuesday in the 2018 World Cup semifinals as France vs Belgium meet at 2 p.m. ET. It’s just the third time these two squads have met in a World Cup. France won a 1986 meeting on penalty kicks and cruised 3-1 way back in 1938. Belgium won a 4-3 friendly in 2015, the last time these nations met on the pitch. The winner heads to the 2018 World Cup final on July 15. France is the 2018 World Cup favorite to win it all at 2-1 odds, while Belgium is the second-biggest favorite at 5-2.
For Tuesday’s fixture, sportsbooks list France at +150 on the money line, meaning a $100 bet to win would return $150. Belgium is going off at +200, while a draw in regulation returns +215. On a two-way play (winner including extra time), France is -130 and Belgium is +110 World Cup odds. The over-under for total goals scored in this 2018 World Cup match is 2.
Before you enter your 2018 World Cup picks for France vs. Belgium, you have to see what European football expert David Sumpter has to say. Sumpter is an applied mathematician who wrote “Soccermatics,” a book that explains how math works inside the sport. Together with other experienced analysts, Sumpter developed the powerful Soccerbot model.
The Soccerbot reads current odds and all team performance data, calculates key metrics and predicts upcoming matches. In nearly three seasons since its inception, the Soccerbot is up an incredible 1,800 percent on bookmakers’ closing odds.
The Soccerbot has dominated the World Cup knockout stage. It called for a draw in regulation for England-Colombia (+235) and for an English victory. It was all over Brazil and Belgium to win in regulation in the round of 16. It also correctly predicted draws for Spain-Russia (+280) and Croatia-Denmark (+225). Earlier, the model nailed draws for Argentina-Iceland (+385) and Brazil-Switzerland (+360) and predicted Iran upsetting Morocco at +275, just to name a few of its big calls. Anyone who has followed it is way, way up.
Now, the Soccerbot has digested the film, crunched the numbers and broken down every single player on the French and Belgian rosters. The model has released a very strong money-line pick, which it’s sharing over at SportsLine.
The model knows Belgium France vs Belgium Live needed a goal in extra time to get past Japan 3-2, but it played up to its lofty ranking by knocking Brazil out of the World Cup 2018. Brazil hadn’t conceded more than one goal in a game in two years before giving up two to Belgium.
The world’s third-ranked team has never been to the World Cup finals; its best finish was taking fourth back in 1986. And Belgium certainly must feel battle-tested after holding off Brazil’s second-half onslaught in a match that felt more like a final than a quarterfinal.
The model also knows France last won the World Cup title in 1998, and this is the first semifinal game for the historically strong program since 2006. Les Bleus needed three-second half goals to edge Argentina, but it looked like a team on a mission against Uruguay, showcasing the potential that made it a pre-tournament favorite just behind Germany and Brazil.
France has proven multiple players can make plays near the net. Kylian Mbappe had two goals in four minutes against Argentina, while Antoine Griezmann had the game-winner and a big goal against Uruguay at Russia 2018.
Belgium and Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne celebrates after they beat Brazil to reach the semi-finals
Have France and Belgium played each other at the World Cup?
France and Belgium have played each other twice at the World Cup.
The first time was back in the opening round in 1938, when the French recorded a 3-1 win.
And it would be 48 years when the teams would meet again, albeit in less significant circumstances.
Goals from Jean-Marc Ferreri, Jean-Pierre Papin, Bernard Genghini and Manuel Amoros (pen) helped Les Bleus to a 4-2 extra time win in the 1986 third/fourth place play-off.
How many times have France and Belgium played each other and who has won the most matches?
France and Belgium are very familiar foes, having played each other a staggering 73 times.
And it’s the Belgians who have the better head to head record, having won 30 to the French’s 24 and 19 games ending in a draw.
But in competitive games, France have won 5 with Belgium winning 3 and 3 draws.
The last match between Belgium vs France the two teams took place in 2015 with Belgium running out 4-3 winners with two Marouane Fellaini goals in an exciting friendly in Paris.