France vs Belgium: Preview and Prediction

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France finished second in their group

In the fifth ‘Round of 16’ match of the 2024 UEFA Euro, France will take on Belgium at the Merkur-Spiel Arena in Dusseldorf on Monday.

Both teams share one similarity, where they started as favourites to win the title but have not played to their strengths so far. France won one and drew two of their matches in Group D, which placed them second with 5 points in 3 matches, behind Austria.

On the other hand, Belgium has achieved every possible result, as they have won, drawn and lost one match respectively. Domenico Tedesco’s men finished second in Group E with 4 points in 3 matches, behind Romania. The winner of this match will take on the winner of the match between Portugal and Slovenia in the final.

What have they done so far?

France started this tournament as the outright favourites, but they are yet to get into their groove, Didier Deschamps’ men won the first match against Austria by a 1-0 margin, but that was possible only because of an own goal from Maximilian Wober.

The second match against the Netherlands was a 0-0 draw, while in the third match, France was held to a 1-1 draw against Poland. Captain Kylian Mbappe’s goal gave France the lead, but a Robert Lewandowski penalty secured a point for Poland.

Similarly, Belgium too has not been convincing in this tournament. Tedesco’s men received the shock of their lives when they lost to Slovakia 0-1 in the first match, where Ivan Schranz’s goal proved to be the only difference.

However, Belgium then made a decent comeback against Romania by winning 2-0. Youri Tielemans and Kevin De Bruyne were on the scoresheet in that match. In their last Group E match, Belgium played out a 0-0 draw against Ukraine.

Head to Head Record

France and Belgium often meet in international football. They have faced one another 75 times, with Belgium being slightly ahead in terms of head-to-head records. The Red Devils have won 30 of those games while Les Bleus have won 16 matches, while 19 matches ended as draws.

The last meeting between France and Belgium took place in Italy three years ago, where Deschamps’ team won by a 3-2 margin. Mbappe, Theo Hernandez and Karim Benzema scored for France, while Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku scored for Belgium.

Team News

Dodi Lukebakio will be available for selection after serving his one-game suspension

Mbappe has recovered well after sustaining a nose injury in France’s tournament opener against Austria and he even scored his first-ever goal in the Euros in the last match against Poland. Hence, there is no doubt that the French captain will be playing in this match.

Deschamps will be fortunate to have his entire squad to choose from in this match, as none of the French players are nursing any injury or serving any suspension. That being said, Ousmane Dembele, Mbappe and Adrien Rabiot are the three players who will miss the quarter-final if they receive a yellow card in this match, provided France wins the contest.

On the other hand, Tedesco will be relieved to know that he will be able to pick Sevilla attacker Dodi Lukebakio in this match, as he is available for selection again after serving his one-game suspension in the last match against Ukraine.

But unlike Deschamps, Tedesco will not have his entire squad to pick a starting XI from in this match. Trabzonspor full-back Thomas Meunier and Atletico Madrid midfielder Axel Witsel are still nursing thigh and adductor injuries respectively, and they will not be fit in time to play in this match. Wout Faes, Orel Mangala and Tielemans are the three players who are one match away from suspension.

Predicted XIs

France (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Jules Kounde, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano, Lucas Hernandez; N’Golo Kante, Aurelien Tchouameni; Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Bradley Barcola; Kylian Mbappe.

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


It is true that France has been disappointing so far and they are yet to score from open play in this match. Similarly, Belgium has not been able to live up to expectations either, and they do not have as many match-winners in the team as France. Hence, Mbappe & Co. will start this match as the favorites.