Roberto Martinez’s Belgium faces France in this crunch European Nations League clash with both countries hoping to emerge victorious over the other.
Belgian has been world number one for a long time now and they have shown great form in qualifying competitions, but they are yet to win a major trophy.
This Nations League Finals hands them the chance to achieve that and they will start with this semifinal game.
World champions, France fumbled at the Euro 2020 and they have continued to struggle in their recent qualifying matches.
They can make up for a poor Euros by winning this competition, but that would be easier said than done.
The Frenchmen face a talented Belgium side that would also be out for revenge after losing to them in the semi-final of Russia 2018.
These teams have served up some interesting matches before now and this game could be yet another one.
The Belgians beat France 4-3 in a thrilling friendly game in 2015, but France won 1-0 when it mattered most in the 2018 World Cup.
Belgian has four wins from their last five matches, but France has won just one of their last five games and it came against Finland in their last international game.
European champions Italy hosts Spain in this European Nations League semi-final match, hoping to build on their Euro 2020 win.
Spain will want to stop the Italians from making a clean sweep of European trophies this year.
The Azzurri has been one of the world’s most in-form teams recently and they would be keen to keep that record.
This game offers them the chance to show that winning the Euros isn’t a fluke and with the likes of Ciro Immobile missing out, winning this game would be a major morale booster for them.
Spain has a fine recent record against the hosts, even though the Italians eliminated them from Euro 2020 earlier in the year.
The Spaniards have lost just once in normal time against the Azzurri in their last five head to heads.
However, Italy has a fine record against Spain when they are the host team with no losses and two wins from their last five home games against La Roja.
This game would be a tough one for both countries and it gives Italy the chance to show they are the top dog among both countries now.
Liverpool head to Qatar this week to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup. The Reds are seeking their second trophy of the season after lifting the UEFA Super Cup in August. Jurgen Klopp’s UEFA Champions League winners will enter at the semifinal stage against Mexico’s Monterrey after the latter side defeated Qatar’s Al Sadd in the quarterfinals. With the FIFA Club World Cup kicking off this week, football fans can visit Betenemy.com for the latest promo codes, bet bonuses, and tips before the matches kick off.
Liverpool head into the semifinals of the FIFA Club World Cup atop the English Premier League. The Reds extended their lead at the weekend to 10 points thanks to a scrappy win over Watford and a Leicester City draw with Norwich City. Liverpool will now play two matches in Qatar with the semifinal starting things on 18 December.
Monterrey to semifinals
Monterrey are currently playing their Apertura domestic campaign in the Mexican Liga. The team has advanced to the semifinals of the Apertura playoffs where they will play Club America on 27 December. Monterrey certainly have one player familiar with Liverpool and that is former Tottenham Hotspur striker Vincent Janssen. The striker moved to Monterrey last summer and has been a decent addition this season scoring two goals and adding an assist in 13 matches.
The Mexicans advanced to the semifinals thanks to a 3-2 win over Al Sadd. Monterrey scored goals through Leonel, Rogelino Funes Mori, and Carlos Gomez. They did suffer a second-half scare due to goals from Baghdad Bounedjah and Abdelkarim Hassan. However, that scoreline flattered Al Sadd as Hassan’s goal was scored in the 89th minute.
Liverpool’s form is incredible
It is easy to say that Liverpool will arrive at the FIFA Club World Cup and thrash the teams before them. Even with superior talent, Liverpool have a target on their backs like they do not possess in the Premier League.
Liverpool may be unbeaten in 19 straight games in all competitions, but they are suffering fixture congestion and injuries right now. Centre-back Dejan Lovren picked up a knee injury against Red Bull Salzburg on matchday 6 in the Champions League.
It was followed by midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum suffering a muscle injury against Watford on Saturday. Wijnaldum may not make the trip to Qatar. Although it is believed Liverpool can dominate teams at the FIFA Club World Cup, fitness and injuries could play a major role.
Prediction: Liverpool vs. Monterrey
Monterrey are on a 13-match unbeaten run and have been impressive. The Mexicans are in fine form and will fancy their chances against Liverpool. The Reds head to Qatar with a split squad. Tuesday night will see Liverpool play in England in the Carabao Cup against Aston Villa. The fixture will feature mostly young players competing.
Regardless of the split squad and injury issues now facing Klopp, Liverpool should get past Monterrey. The Mexicans defence doesn’t play against attacks quite like Liverpool’s front three. In addition, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker is in fine form keeping three straight clean sheets in all competitions. Liverpool should win against Monterrey with its stars impressing.
Belgium would be looking to pick apart this San Marino side as both teams meet in this Euro 2020 qualifiers. The Belgians are the best-ranked side in the world while their visitors are the worst-ranked side in this qualifying series.
On paper, this looks very much a win for Belgium with high margins. Roberto Martinez side had played their visitors 7 times and won all those games, the last time both sides met in Belgium, the Belgians ran away 8-0 winners and that was as far back as 2005.
San Marino hasn’t scored a goal in two years and they face a Belgian side that has won all their games in the qualifying series. Winning this game would send the Belgians in the Euro 2020 finals with a couple of games left to play.
Since their defeat to France at the 2018 World Cup semifinals, Belgium has lost just one game and that came away at Switzerland last year. This game doesn’t just look a certain win for the Belgians, but the score could be as high as Over 5.5 Goals.
These two teams come into this game with the knowledge that a win would get them promoted to the second tier of European international football. Scotland’s win over Albania has made them favourites to win this group as they play Israel in this game, but the British side can’t afford to underrate this Israeli team in this game.
The Scots took the lead when both teams met in Israel in the reverse fixture, but they were still beaten by the Israelis 2-1. They would banking on home support to get them the win here, but Israel would come into this game with enough confidence to carry them through.
Israel’s consecutive home wins over Scotland and Albania has placed them at the top of this group and they come into this game in fine form. Apart from beating the other two teams in this group, they recorded a 7-0 win over Guatemala in a recent friendly game and they would feel they can cause problems for the Scots in this game.
Italian football has suffered its biggest setback recently and they continue to rebuild towards a better future with Roberto Mancini at the helm. The Italians are one of the world’s biggest teams and they are expected to partake in every global or continental showpiece, so it was a slap in the face when they couldn’t make it to the last World Cup.
That failure cost their then manager his job and Mancini has been given the task to restore their former glory days. He has largely been experimenting as he continues to search for his best team. They managed to avoid relegation from the Euro Nations League, but they have won just one of their last seven games and they should give their fans something to cheer in this game.
USA also failed to qualify for the World Cup perhaps in a more disappointing manner as the likes of Panama did qualify ahead of them. They had to fire two managers following that failed qualifying campaign and Dave Sarachan who remains an interim manager hasn’t have much success either.
They come into this game on the back of a single win in seven games, while they are a side filled with talented players, there seems to be so much work left to be done in the rebuilding of one of the biggest teams in North America.
France’s victory at the 2018 World Cup in Russia has made them the team to beat at the moment. Les Blues played and defeated the likes of Argentina, Belgium, and even Uruguay as they went all the way in Russia and they have not been doing badly in their games after that competition so far.
They beat the Netherlands and Germany in the Euro Nations League, but a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands in the reverse fixture now means that Germany has to beat the Dutch men for Les Blues to qualify for the next round. However, Didier Deschamps’ men would now focus on beating Uruguay for the second time in as many games in this match.
Uruguay reached the quarterfinals of the last World Cup before they were eventually eliminated by France and they would be looking for revenge in this game, even though their recent form doesn’t make them favourites.
The South Americans beat Mexico 4-1 just after their World Cup campaign, but they have since all three subsequent matches the last of which was a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Brazil.
Russia head into this game with the knowledge that a draw would be just enough for them to get promoted from group B into the elite group of this competition and the 2018 World Cup hosts should dig deep to get that here.
When Sweden visited Turkey at the weekend, Russia was hoping that the Scandinavians would be denied victory but that was exactly what they achieve, and that 1-0 win means the 2018 World Cup host would have to wait until the end of this game to confirm their qualification.
Russia has continued to improve since their impressive run at the World Cup and they head into this game having not tasted a defeat in any of their last 3 games in this competition. They are 3 points ahead of Sweden and have a superior goal difference, so mathematically they should qualify when one considers Sweden’s struggle in front of goal.
When these teams first met in Russia, it ended goalless and a low-scoring affair has overshadowed their past meetings as well.
Croatia seems to still be suffering from a major hangover after their World Cup run to the final and their fans would hope that things get better soon enough. They were beaten 6-0 by Spain in this reverse fixture, and could only get a point from their home game against England.
This game offers them the chance to get over their recent run of poor form, but it would be and unwise idea to bet on them beating Luis Enrique’s men.
When Croatia reached the final of the World Cup in Russia, they had one key characteristic, and that was their doggedness and ability to keep fighting until the final whistle. However, they seem to have lost that after losing the competition’s final to France.
They have had a bad spell at the back and offer almost nothing when going forward, their fans would be wondering how they can break a defence with Sergio Ramos when they could beat poor Jordan by just a lone goal in their last friendly game.
Spain have banished their World Cup blues to start Luis Enrique’s tenure on a bright note. They may have been beaten by England in Seville in their last game, they remain a generously talented side. However, conceding 4 goals at home against England showed that they are also a side that is vulnerable at the back, and Croatia could take advantage of that.
Belgium has been on an upward trajectory since they named Roberto Martinez as their manager, and it seems that it is only a matter of time before this Golden generation of players delivers a trophy to their nation.
They have continued were they left off at the World Cup after winning third place. They have won two of their Euro Nations League games so far and their fans would be expecting them to win a third consecutive game at home here.
They did draw with neighbors Netherlands, in a friendly in the last international window, but they should get maximum points in this game.
Belgium defeated Iceland 3-0 away in the reverse fixture and their performance against a more organized Switzerland side also shows that they are set to get all the points in this match.
Iceland have struggled to live up to the high expectations that their performances in recent years have placed on them. Being grouped together with Switzerland and Belgium, it was always going to be a major hurdle for them, and when they were beaten 6-0 by the Swiss in their first game, they had set the tone for a poor showing in this competition.
They almost ran away with a win against France in their last Friendly game to show that they can still pull off a surprised win, however, we don’t expect them to start winning in this competition from this match as they have lost all their games so far.
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