- Nine-time Davis Cup champions France have cruised through to the 2017 final without ever being seriously threatened. They started their campaign with a 4-1 victory over Japan (minus Kei Nishikori), beat Great Britain (minus Andy Murray) by the same scoreline, and then overcame Serbia (minus Novak Djokovic) for the loss of just one match.
- Belgium have had to work much harder to reach the final. They started with a 4-1 win against Germany, then overcame Italy 3-2 in the quarter-finals and needed Steve Darcis to beat Jordan Thompson in a final-rubber decider to get past Australia in the semi-finals.
France are the clear favourites to win the Davis Cup final. They have home advantage, far more strength in depth and, perhaps crucially, the superior doubles team in Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert. In a two-horse race, though, odds of around 11/4 on Belgium are still worth considering.
If they are to win three of the five matches, Belgium will be looking to David Goffin to do most of the hard yards. It will be no easy task, with likely singles matches against the in-form - and well rested - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille. Goffin, by contrast, has been exerting himself at the ATP World Tour Finals. However, he performed brilliantly at the O2 to beat both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on his way to the final, and will be full of confidence. He will be the highest ranked player on show in Lille and the Davis Cup usually brings out the best in him - he has won all four of his singles matches in the competition this year.
If Goffin wins both of his singles matches against France, Belgium will still need another victory from somewhere. The doubles looks unlikely, but Steve Darcis is capable of beating either Tsonga or Pouille. He took Nick Kyrgios to five sets in the semi-final against Australia, swept past Jordan Thompson in the decider and was even more impressive in the first-round tie against Germany in Frankfurt. With Belgium missing Goffin, Darcis stepped up to defeat both Philipp Kohlschreiber and Alexander Zverev, who went on to finish the year as No.3 in the world. With Darcis showing the potential to perform such heroics in the Davis Cup and Goffin taking his game to new heights at the World Tour Finals, Belgium could upset the odds.
Sports.net’s Top Tip
Belgium to win the Davis Cup
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.