A mouth-watering tie brings some mouth-watering same game multi bets to the fore with Jamie Pacheco talking us through them all...
"For me the Belgium are better value to win in 90 minutes. Not because they’re a bigger price in that market than the to qualify but because the way they play, I think they’d rather take their chances in 90 minutes than go deep."
France v Belgium
Tuesday July 10 19.00
TV: live on BBC1
This is a pretty sexy semi-final right here and one that really could go either way. That presents lots of opportunities on the same-game multi bets. Here are the two we like.
The 'to qualify' market is finding it hard to split the two but the match odds market has France at 6/4 and Belgium out at 21/10. That's a generous price on Belgium.
As Dave Tindall pointed out very well, they've won matches they should have, shouldn't have and didn't need to. Perhaps more crucially, their two knockout wins proved they can win from different positions as well. They were the comeback kings against Japan coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in normal time and they were good front-runners when going 2-0 up against Brazil and holding out for a famous win.
For me the Belgium are better value to win in 90 minutes. Not because they're a bigger price in that market than the to qualify but because the way they play, I think they'd rather take their chances in 90 minutes than go deep.
France's attack is to be respected and Killian Mbappe's pace will be a constant threat but both in defence and in midfield I'd take Belgium, so the 90 minute win it is.
And speaking of defences, I'm not entirely sure about either of them. On paper they look good in terms of the individuals making them up but that's not necessarily a recipe for a good defence. Clear as mud?
But let's look at the numbers. Belgium have conceded in three of their five games and whereas there's no disgrace in conceding to Brazil, a few eyebrows were rightly raised at conceding two against both Japan and Tunisia.
France aren't much better. A clean sheet against Uruguay was a decent effort but they were of course without Edinson Cavani for that one. A better barometer may be a strong Argentinian attack: they conceded three against them...yet still went through. Both teams to score is 5/6 and this first same game multi comes to 5.8.
France and lots of corners in a game of football just don't go hand in hand. Here's the corner count for their games so far: 7, 4, 6, 8, 6. All went under 9.5 corners and most of them hardly even came close to the 10 corner mark.
There have been more corners when Belgium have been in action. Here's the count for their games: 12, 16, 9, 7, 12. But that's still two from five that didn't go over 9.5 corners and that makes it seven from 10 between them that stayed under 9.5.
I think most would agree that makes under 9.5 corners at 11/10 a value selection.
The very best players improve as a tournament progresses whereas those who aren't the cream of the cream tend to peak early on in the Group Stages then fade away somewhat as the pressure intensifies and it dawns on them just how important the occasion is.
Both Eden Hazard's goals came in the Group Stages, both against Tunisia, but if you've been watching carefully, the quality of his performances have actually improved.
At 27 it's not yet time to talk about this World Cup as Hazard's last chance but it's not unreasonable to talk about it as his best chance. Plenty has been said about this being Belgium's Golden Generation and how age-wise, they're at their peak.
But back to Hazard. He appeared in all sorts of dangerous positions in that game against Brazil and though he didn't get on the scoresheet there, he looked like he was about to score more than once.
This could be another high scoring shoot-out. After all, Belgium have been involved in matches ending 5-2, 3-2 and 2-1 and France beat Argentina 4-3.
The last time these two played it ended 4-3. Let's hope for a similar sort of game. With Hazard we do of course also have the 'safety net' of him being on penalty duty. He's 13/5 to score here.