Thursday Football Tips: Back De Bruyne to think outside the box

Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne can hit the target from distance against France

We've got a 12/1 shot from Paul Higham's props column as Belgium v France should play out ideally for Kevin De Bruyne to shoot from distance...

"Just over half of De Bruyne's shots this season have come from outside the box, and with France sitting deep but no Kante to cut him off, he can fire in a few from distance in Turin."

Kevin De Bruyne to have 2+ shots on target from outside the box @ 13.012/1

Belgium vs France
Thursday 7 October 19:45 kick-off
Live on Sky Sports

Another cracking semi-final in the Nations League sees neighbours France and Belgium clash in Turin for a place in the final - and this game also has some extra sauce to it.

It's a repeat of the 2018 World Cup semi-final that France just edged 1-0 despite Belgium having most of the ball - with Roberto Martinez's side just lacking a cutting edge on the day.

That was the recipe for Didier Deschamps when winning the World Cup and it's been pretty successful since, with just four defeats since lifting the trophy in Russia.

One of those was that desperate penalty shootout defeat to Switzerland at Euro 2020 after leading 3-1 and, much like Martinez, Deschamps is still unconvincing as France boss even with that World Cup in his pocket.

They just don't play like you'd think a team containing Benzema, Mbappe, Pogba and Griezmann should, often going into their shells in big games, while for Belgium they often look a tad naive when it comes to crunch time in the big tournaments.

This is a game then that both teams could do with putting in a performance and hopefully that will lead to a free-flowing game - fingers crossed anyway!

There are a couple of angles here for our props column with the most obvious being this French forward line going up against an ageing Belgian back line.

Especially if Martinez plays three at the back then the balls down the channels for Benzema and particularly Mbappe will cause them all kinds of problems. So those front two should get plenty of chances for shots and goals.

With France favoured though I've switched attentions to Belgium, where anything Romelu Lukaku related is as short as you'd like it given his extraordinary goal scoring record for his country.

The 4/1 on offer for Lukaku to get a header on target is the best of the bunch as he'll be the focal point of everything they do.

Preference though goes to Kevin De Bruyne, who could enjoy a little more space in behind Lukaku than you'd expect against France given N'Golo Kante is out with Covid.

You still know France will be solid at the back so this plays right into De Bruyne's strength of shooting from outside the box - he's an OddsBoost of 12/1 to get two on target from outside the area and that's a big price for something that should be a real possibility given how the game should go.

13 of De Bruyne's 25 shots this season have come from outside the box, while the number was 58 from 106 last season so the volume is there for us to get a big payday from this one.

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COLUMN P/L

Staked: 54pts
Returned: 70.10pts
P/L: +16.10pts

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