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France vs Belgium: Match Preview, Team News, Predictions and More

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France vs Belgium is the pick of the draw with a quarterfinal spot on the line.

France vs Belgium is the pick of the draw with a quarterfinal spot on the line

Both teams have not found their feet in this year’s tournament yet. France are out to kiss the European Championship trophy this summer after failing to do so in the past couple of times when they entered the tournament as clear favourites, and Belgium, on the other hand, barely look like the giants they are as they look to fulfil their potential and clinch a major international silverware before another set of players from their golden generation retires.

Didier Deschamps’s side have not been their usual selves this summer as they have struggled to score goals in the ongoing European campaign. Les Blues have netted only two goals in three games, with one of them being an own goal, which earned them their only win of the tournament as Maximilian Wober’s goal proved enough for France to get better than Austria by a 1-0 margin. That win followed two draws against the Netherlands and Poland, as they rounded out the group as runners-up with five points behind Ralf Rangnick of Austria by six points.

The French gaffer has been on the receiving end of massive criticism as his side has lacked cohesion and consistency this campaign despite their individual brilliance. The 55-year-old insists that off-pitch political matters are at the heart of disrupting the French roster.

There are a lot of chances that haven’t gone the French way. Ousmane Dembele has been playing with freedom and intent; however, he has not been able to show any end product for all the dribbling he does. Kylian Mbappe is dealing with injuries, and N’Golo Kante is still carrying their midfield. Deschamps would be hoping that his stars step up and pull through as we enter the knockouts, and one bad game could put an end to their time in Germany.

Belgium have even bigger issues than the French side going into the game; there is a clear lack of a fixed technical approach from Domenico Tedesco’s side as they have been all over the place going into the final third. The Red Devils started their European campaign with a surprise 1-0 defeat against Francesco Calzona’s Slovakia, as an early goal from Slavia Prague winger Ivan Schranz proved enough at the night. Tedesco’s men did get a win against Romania with a two-goal margin after Youri Tielemans put them ahead in the first couple of minutes. 

However, going into the final matchday, Belgium’s hopes to qualify for the last sixteen were still hanging by a thread as they clinched the runners-up place in Group E on goal difference as all four teams finished on four points, highlighting the narrow margins that this competition is characterised for. 

France will face Belgium on Monday, July 1, 2024, at Dusseldorf Arena in a 5 p.m. BST kick-off. The winners of this game will face Portugal or Slovenia in the quarterfinals.

France vs Belgium: Team News


Real Madrid’s summer signing Kylian Mbappe was fit enough to start against Poland in the last game of the group, albeit with a face mask, but he should be fit enough to help Les Blues for the rest of the European Championships. Deschamps brought in Bradley Barcola on the left wing by dropping Antoine Griezmann in their final game of the group, and while the PSG winger had a few glimpses of his potential, he hasn’t done enough to keep his place in the squad for the knockouts. 

The same goes on for Tchouameni, and Deschamos can revert to his 4-2-3-1 formation and push Mbappe out wide to create space for either Olivier Giroud or Marcus Thuram upfront. This can work out as N’Golo Kante provides defensive stability in front of the defensive line and allows more cohesion between the offensive players. 

Didier Deschamps will continue to entrust AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan between the sticks with Jules Kounde and Theo Hernandez continuing in the full-back role as William Saliba continues to get the nod ahead of Liverpool defender Konate alongside Upamecano to complete the backline. Rabiot to make the pivot in the middle of the park with Saudi Pro midfielder N’Golo Kante. Ousmane Dembele continues on the right flank, with Mbappe slotting in on the left flank. Antoine Griezmann takes up the number-ten cum second striker role, with Olivier Giroud coming in upfront as both Thuram and Kolo Muani have not impressed enough in this summer campaign.

France Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan, Jules Kounde, William Saliba, Upamecano, Theo Hernandez, Rabiot, N’Golo Kante, Ousmane Dembele, Anotine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, and Olivier Giroud

France vs Belgium is the pick of the draw with a quarterfinal spot on the line.
France vs Belgium: Predicted lineup of the French side for the fixture.


Romelu Lukaku has been unlucky with his off-side calls in the ongoing campaign, and he has barely looked at his best this Euro. Domenico Tedesco has a task on his hands to ensure that his attacks find some cohesion on the pitch, as it has looked a bit over the place with wingers slotting in and full-backs overlapping. Tedesco will have to scratch his head once again to find a way to fit his attacking talent in a balanced system as Sevilla winger Dodi Lukebakio returns from his suspension to give an alternative option to Leandro Trossard and Doku. 

Trossard is playing on the unfamiliar right wing to fit in Doku on the left, and the Arsenal man has struggled to adapt to his right-wing role and replicate the usual qualities that he brings to the table. He isn’t taking up spaces, which can hurt the opponents, and Tedesco needs to consider whether the Arsenal winger should return to his familiar flank with Doku, who hasn’t impressed enough in the ongoing campaign.

Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels will continue with the gloves, as Timothy Castagne will take up the right wing-back role alongside the duo of ever-young Jan Vertonghen and Leicester City defender Wout Faes. Arthur Theate should get the nod in the left centre-back position. Tielemans and Onana take up the midfield spots, with Jeremy Doku in the left-wingback role as Dodi Lukebakio returns into the lineup alongside Kevin de Bruyne in a support role to Romelu Lukaku upfront.

Belgium Predicted XI (3-4-2-1): Koen Casteels, Timothy Castagne, Jan Vertonghen, Wout Faes, Arthur Theate, Youri Tielemans, Amadou Onana, Jeremy Doku, Dodi Lukebakio, Kevin de Bruyne, and Romelu Lukaku.

France vs Belgium is the pick of the draw with a quarterfinal spot on the line.
France vs Belgium: Predicted lineup of Belgium for the fixture.

France vs Belgium: Key Stats

  • Belgium lost to France in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.
  • France has not lost in the last six games. 
  • Belgium have won 30 games to France’s 26 in their head-to-head meetings with 19 draws.
  • Kylian Mbappe has scored one goal for France; no one else has gotten on the scoresheets in the ongoing EUROs for Les Blues yet.

Match-deciding duel

Kylian Mbappe vs. Timothy Castagne

Mbappe has the capacity to decide games on his own; looking back, he nearly decided the outcome of the recent FIFA World Cup on his own. He is one of the, if not the, best players in world football, and France will be looking to unleash his potential in the knockout. He should be highly involved in the game and would be forcing some individual dominance to get the upper hand on the game.

While Castagne likes to roam around and get involved in attacking sequences, he will have to be aware of the threat behind him and ensure he doesn’t get carried away out of position. The Fulham defender will need to limit Mbappe’s threat for Belgium to have a chance of beating the French side. 


France 2-0 Belgium

While both teams have been struggling, France has the individual quality and depth to complement their experience in high-stakes games and come out with a positive result. Belgium have been a bit unbalanced in making an impact so far, and that trend should continue if they try to fill in big-name attacking-output players over the balance of the squad.