After a month of grueling action, two of the predicted contenders find themselves facing each other in the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. France, boasting of the most expensive squad of the 32 teams in the tournament, will now have to show their worth against a side that is unbeaten in their last 24 games. Belgium was ruthless in the qualifiers, and that did not change in the finals either. They whacked Panama and Tunisia before edging past England. Then they upstaged a come back from 2-0 down to record a sensational 3-2 win over Japan in the round of 16. The way they went about their business against Brazil sent off signs of what Belgium are here for.
They stand to face a France squad that has almost every position taken up world’s top players. Kylian Mbappe has been a sensation in the tournament and looks set to grab the young player of the tournament award. Pogba and Kante in the midfield are just the perfect attack and defense mixture a team desires to have in the midfield. So much to talk about yet so little to differentiate the two sides. Tactics will be a key, but it surely is going to go down to the wires at the Saint Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday.
For the Belgian fans, it will be a moment to remember if their side makes it through to the finals. They’ll be a part of Belgium Football’s history. They’ll be witness to the only Belgium team that has ever made it to the World Cup final. Champions of 1998, France will leave no stone unturned to end their wait of 20 years. Fans will be out in huge numbers supporting their national side that looks one of the best in the world right now. A mouth-watering semi-final it will be for the neutral fans as well.
Two sides that know only one way of playing football guarantee some exciting football if not anything else. This by far is the biggest game of the tournament so far, and every fan will have to make sure they don’t miss the match at any cost. To help all those fans a bit, here are all the details about the first semi-final every football fan needs to know.
France vs Belgium Live Stream
The Internet is going to be studded with football fans come Tuesday. Fans from all over the world will give in their everything to watch this epic showdown. The American fans will have their dose of action on the Internet coming via FOX Sports. Neighbours Canada fans will have their stream links on TSN Sports. The most used streaming link for the semi-final is expected to be via beIN Sports, who’ll cater to so many countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and some countries of Europe including France.
Sony LIV, DirecTV, Sky, Fiji TV, ITV, SuperSport, Kwese Sports, Canal+, will all be streaming the match as well on their official websites and smartphone apps. While some will be entirely free, a few others will require you to go premium with a nominal subscription charge. The full list of available live stream channels can be checked out at FIFA’s official website.
We have all live stream channels to watch World Cup Semi-Finals here.
Two days will follow the end of quarter-finals as the first semi-final between France and Belgium will take place on 10th of July, Tuesday, at the Saint Petersburg Stadium. The match will kick off at 21:00 local time, just like the other matches from here on. The Saint Petersburg Stadium is already sold out with one day prior to the match ticket counter still left. Fan parks will also be arranged across the city nearby the stadium. Details are available on FIFA’s official website.
Belgium has been shuffling with their lineups in almost every other game, but Roberto Martinez has ensured his team’s formation goes well with their opponents. Given France’s balanced side, Belgium is expected to field a similar side that defeated Brazil in the quarters. Carrasco may start ahead of Fellaini though with Mertens and Dembele on the bench. For France, a copy of their quarter-final team against Uruguay is expected to appear in the semi-final as well with Ousmana Dembele in place of Tolisso. Ruling out the possibility of any injuries in the coming two days, here is how the two sides may lineup on Tuesday.
France Probable XI
Lloris (GK); Parvard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Pogba, Kante; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud
Belgium Probable XI
Courtois (GK); Vertonghen, Kompany, Alderweirald, Meunier; Chadli, Witsel, Fellaini; Hazard, Lukaku, De Bruyne
Interestingly, the best finish Belgium ever had in a FIFA World Cup too had them pitted against France in a third-place play-off. France comfortably won the game 4-2. The sides met for one more time and again the result was in France’s favour. This time, a 3-1 win.
The total number of viewers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup has left almost every sports broadcasting records shattered. An estimated 3.9 billion viewers have been recorded so far. Those numbers are expected to go up even further when France and Belgium square off for the big semi-final. In France, the match will be broadcasted on TF1, beIN Sports1, and beIN Sports2. Belgium’s official broadcaster for the country’s biggest game is RTBF’ Ladeux and Sportza. In the United Kingdom, the match will be broadcasted on ITV. In India, the match will be broadcasted on SONY Ten1, Sony Ten2, and Sony ESPN in English and Hindi. The full list of channels broadcasting the match in every country can be checked out on FIFA’s official website.
The winner of this semi-final is more likely expected to finish as champions in Russia. Both sides are balanced enough first to score and a goal and then see off the remaining time defending it. Belgium has been a much better side from the corners after Vincent Kompany came into the playing11. That might just turn out to be the telling difference between the two sides. Another way of turning the game around would be a piece of individual brilliance. But with the quality of opponent’s defense for both sides, that looks least likely to happen. Considering just the slight edge of Belgium over France in the set pieces, our prediction sees Belgium getting the better of France in this one.