Semifinal: France – Belgium

In this post we give our prediction for the first semifinal match between France and Belgium in the World Cup 2018. While France as winner of group C has eliminated Uruguay in the quarter-final, Belgium has beaten Brazil in their quarter-final match. For many experts this semifinal seems to be a preponed final since probably the best two remaining teams in the competition fight for a single ticket to the final. We have updated our model by incorporating the results up to the quarter-finals in order to forecast the matches in the quarter-finals.

We present the probabilities for each team to qualify for the final. This takes into account a victory after 90 or 120 minutes according to our model. Furthermore, we give the probability for a penalty shoot-out. Our model favours Belgium slightly, although the “Red Devils” have a few Elo points less than France. Nonetheless the outcome of the match seems to be very open and the performance on the match day will play a crucial role. A decision by penalty shoot-out is not unlikely. (We recall from our previous posts: We believe that penalty shoot-outs are very difficult if not impossible to model and hence we do not give any further forecasts in this case.)

FRABEL-result

Analogously to our previous posts during the group phase of the tournament, we present the probabilities for the match after 90 minutes: we favour a 1-1 draw or 0-1 victory of Belgium, followed by a 1-0 victory of France and a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes.

FRABEL-score90

Since the probability for a draw after 90 minutes is high, we also present the expected results after 120 minutes in the case that the match goes into extra time (ET):

FRABEL-scoreET

Hence, the estimated probability that France wins 2-1 after extra time is 2.35%. This includes the cases of a 0-0 or a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes. According to the above table we expect a penalty shoot-out if the match goes into extra time. We don’t see a remarkable advantage for any team during extra time.