In the UEFA Nations League Semifinal on Thursday, Belgium held a 2-0 halftime lead over France. Amazingly, the French rallied to score 3 goals in the second half versus the team FIFA ranks first in the world. The win stamped France’s ticket to the UEFA Nations League Final on Sunday. The French take on Spain, upset winners against Italy on Wednesday. Check out analysis and picks for the Nations League odds for the third-place game between Italy and Belgium as well as the first place battle between the Spanish and the French.
UEFA National League Third Place Match
Italy vs. Belgium
When: Sunday, Oct. 10 at 9:00 am ET
At first glance, Belgium should have no trouble winning this match. But teams that fall apart the way Belgium did often struggle in their very next match, and, man, Belgium fall apart big time.
For years, Belgium has been the most loaded international team in the world. After Yannick Carrasco knocked in a goal at the 37th minute and the great Romelu Lukaku added another at the 40th, the Belgians looked like they were well on their way to a matchup with Spain in the finals.
But France rallied to relegate Belgium to the third place game. No doubt, Kevin De Bruyne, Lukaku, and their mates are reeling after the loss.
Still, Belgium has a slight edge on Sunday. One of Italy’s top defenders, maybe their best defender, Leonardo Bonucci, got a red card in the semifinal loss to Spain.
Without Bonucci, De Bruyne could see free lanes where he can send the ball to Lukaku. Then again, Italy can counter any soft Belgium attacks with Insigne, Immobile, or Chiesa. Also, this happens at Allianz Stadium in Torino.
The chances of Belgium getting over their latest disappointment isn’t good while the Italians play a home game knowing they blew it against Spain. The Azzuri get the nod.
Soccer Pick: Italy | Bet the Game Today
UEFA Nations League Final
Spain vs. France
When: Sunday, Oct. 10 at 2:45 pm ET
All throughout the summer, soccer fans wondered whether Pep Guardiola was going to make a play for a top striker. Sergio Aguero had left Man City to play at Barcelona and the thinking was that Pep and the Sky Blues wanted a striker to take his place.
It turns out, Guardiola knew exactly what he had in Spanish player Ferran Torres. The Manchester City forward scored both of Spain’s goals in their upset victory over Italy.
Torres is the striker the Spanish have been clamoring for. During EURO 2020, La Furia Roja and their fans had waited patiently for a striking sensation to emerge.
No doubt, Torres’ emergence in the UEFA Nations League has Spain’s fans grinning from ear-to-ear.
Although it’s easy to look at France’s victory over Belgium and say they dominate Spain on Sunday, doing so might be a mistake. France did rally, but we mustn’t forget that France’s defense fell apart in the first half.
Also, let’s be honest, Belgium always chokes when things get tough. Spain doesn’t. The Spanish will bring the better defense to this match. They also have the better midfield with Busquets, Koke, and Gavi.
France has more star talent, no doubt. But if Ferran Torres continues playing as well as he did on Wednesday, the Spanish can pull off the upset victory.
Soccer Pick: Spain | Bet the Game Today
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