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  • 15 November 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Stade de France, Paris
  • Referee: César Muñiz Fernández

France – Belgium Preview: Hosts aiming to end 2011 unbeaten

France – Belgium Preview: Hosts aiming to end 2011 unbeaten

Olivier Giroud (France - USA)

Laurent Blanc's men welcome their neighbours to the Stade de France having not lost a game this calender year, but they are still looking to improve ahead of Euro 2012



Reveilliere, Abidal, Rami, Mathieu

Menez, Cabaye, M'Vila, Ribery

Remy, Benzema



Vanden Borre, Vermaelen, Kompany, Vertonghen

Defour, Fellaini, Witsel

Hazard, Mirallas, Dembele

Laurent Blanc will be using this game to exercise the 4-4-2 formation that failed to show its maximum potential in Friday's unconvincing 1-0 win over the USA. He is also expected to introduce more players into the starting XI after four players made their debuts against the Americans.

Florent Malouda and Yohan Cabaye have recovered from knocks and came through a training session to ensure full fitness for Tuesday's encounter. The lack of a playmaker failed to ignite the partnership of Kevin Gameiro and Karim Benzema, with the former set to be dropped in favour of in-form Loic Remy.

Eric Abidal is set to take his place in defence after joining up with the squad following his Copa del Rey exploits with Barcelona, and without an experienced left-back, Jeremy Mathieu could again extend his run in the national side. Hugo Lloris could also be dropped in favour of Marseille's Steve Mandanda, with the latter arguably in better form as Blanc mulls his strongest side for next summer's Euro 2012.

Belgium, on the other hand, will be without Kevin De Bruyne after the midfielder contracted illness ahead of the trip to Paris. Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen is in line for a return to the side after he sat out Friday's 2-1 win over Romania. Eden Hazard, who plies his trade in Ligue 1 with Lille, is set to take his place in attack, while 19 year old goalkeeper Thibault Courtois could also make his international debut at the Stade de France.

  • France stretched their unbeaten run to 16 games after Loic Remy stepped up in the 72nd minute to edge Les Bleus past the USA.
  • Barcelona's Eric Abidal is in line to win his 60th cap for his country - only Florent Malouda has more in the current squad.
  • Laurent Koscielny, Jeremy Mathieu, Olivier Giroud and Maxime Gonalons all made their international debuts on Friday.
  • Belgium beat Romania 2-1 in an international friendly in Liege last week.
  • The Red Devils have only lost once in 13 internationals - to Germany last month. The defeat meant they missed out on Euro 2012.
  • Georges Leekens' men won on their last visit to France, prevailing 2-1 in a 2002 World Cup warm-up game. Overall, their record against Les Bleus stands at four wins, four draws and eight defeats.
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Players to watch

L. Rémy

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Marseille forward did his burgeoning reputation no harm by scoring in Friday's 1-0 win over the USA, and the 24 year old has all but sealed a place in the squad for Euro 2012. OM's standout performer this term so far, Remy has netted three goals for Les Bleus this season already, and should be the main man to watch on Tuesday if given the chance.

E. Hazard

Position: Midfielder

Games: 5

  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
It's obvious that all eyes will be on the 20-year-old on Tuesday evening. Hazard, who is accustomed to French football, is one of the brightest talents in Europe, and he is sure to cause the hosts a few headaches. Posessing a considerable amount of pace and trickery on the wings, France's makeshift flanks will have to keep the lid on the youngster if they are to nullify his threat.

Editor's Prediction

Les Bleus are in the ascendancy in terms of progress made, but as recent performances suggest, there are still a few tweaks to be made. After Friday's rather turgid encounter against the USA, it looks as if Blanc will stick to the 4-4-2 system, one that his players aren't familiar with.

Expect the same type of game from the hosts, and, despite Hazard's obvious brilliance, a narrow win for the French.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

France FRA
France France
Belgium BEL
Belgium Belgium

Top 3 Predictions

France FRA
2 - 0
Belgium BEL
France FRA
2 - 1
Belgium BEL
France FRA
1 - 0
Belgium BEL