And what a team they have.
Their midfield is packed with stars like Witsel, Fellaini, De Bruyne and Hazard. Their attack boasts of Benteke and Lukaku, although the former injured his way out of the tournament. They have a good defence too - one of the hottest prospects in Courtois, Tottenham's only decent defender in Vertonghen, title-winning Vincent Kompany and Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen.
Yet they've struggled. In all the group stage matches they looked nothing short of dire. Even though they have difference-makers in the team, they don't seem to have the chemistry to gel at all. While their defence has been reliable, their attack looks all over the place.
Lukaku was so poor for them that they had to depend on Origi to bail them out. That's not to degrade Lukaku's ability, it's just to highlight how dysfunctional of an attacking unit they are. It is a real shame, considering the star men they have, but there you go.
France's only real baggage has been - let's face it - a tendency to fuck up on the big stage. Now that Deschamps has assembled a cohesive unit, left out troublemakers like Nasri and put his faith in the players, France don't look fazed by the daunting tasks of winning the World Cup.
Of course, calling them the dark horses might be a bit extreme, seeing that they haven't met any top team yet. However, they're set to face Germany on the 4th of July, which would undoubtedly help a lot in making judgement.
I'm certain that France are better than Belgium, and it is my opinion that the Red Devils are a tad overrated. However, I'm not sure at all that France have the nerve and the capability to down the Goliaths ahead of them.
Friday would go a long way in deciding that.
-Santi (Follow my blog 'Arsenal Blogz' and my Twitter account: @ArsenalBlogz)