Roberto Martinez says the increased “synchronisation” within his Belgium squad makes them primed to beat France in Thursday’s Nations League semi-final (Match Betting – Belgium 15/8, Draw 9/4, France 8/5).

The four-team Finals kicked off on Wednesday as a Ferran Torres double helped Spain get revenge on Italy for their Euro 2020 semi-final penalty shootout defeat by beating the Azzurri 2-1 in Milan (Nations League Outright – Spain 10/11).

A similar theme is billed for the second game in Turin, with Belgium and France meeting for the first time since Samuel Umtiti’s second half header saw Les Bleus to a 1-0 win in the semi-finals of the World Cup 2018.

Both Martinez and his counterpart Didier Deschamps have overseen changes to their squads since that game in Saint Petersburg and while the Belgians have lost the likes of Vincent Kompany, Mousa Dembele and Marouane Fellaini, their coach thinks they have actually improved.

Winning the Nations League would constitute silverware for a ‘Golden Generation’ who have arguably failed to live up to their billing and Martinez believes they are as well placed as they’ll ever be to lift a trophy.

“Are we stronger than three years ago?” he told reporters. “I like to believe so. And in the meantime many players have been added from which I could select for this tournament.

“We have also been playing together for longer. The synchronisation is better. The players understand each other better.”

Both teams failed to live up to expectations at the Euros but head into Thursday’s game on the back of unbeaten September campaigns (Nations League Outright – France 9/4, Belgium 11/4).

Deschamps has described Belgium as “one of the best, if not the best European nation”, while his captain Hugo Lloris has hailed the “positive energy” within the France camp.

Betfred are offering a whole host of #PickYourPunt markets on the match, with 5/1 available on both Kylian Mbappe and Romelu Lukaku to score.

Whenever you bet on Football, Betfred.

 

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