Follow the World Cup semifinal between France and Belgium

10 July, 2018, 23:30 | Author: Dominic Spencer
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Considering the attacking strength of France and Belgium, there's potential for a goal-fest when the European neighbours meet in the World Cup semifinals.

Chadli didn't start the tournament but has been pivotal to this Belgian team.

France and Belgium are set to square off Tuesday with the victor reaching the 2018 World Cup final game.

The only difference being is that France have history to live up to.

Croatia will be physically and emotionally exhausted after back-to-back penalty shootout victories, which hands a clear advantage to England should they make a quick start to the game on Wednesday.

Hazard moved to Lille when he was 14 and he and his brothers used to admire the French 1998 World Cup winning side.

Belgium put a plan in place to develop young footballing talent in the country more than a decade ago, with the current crop of senior players seen as the fruits of that labour. "It is true that it is odd to have him against us for this match".

Belgium struggled against Japan when defending quick and mobile players. Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante has been pivotal in ensuring the French backline has been relatively relaxed so far this tournament. Marouane Fellaini, who has oft-partnered Pogba in the United midfield, will now be looking to stop the powerful Frenchman. How deep, or advanced, will Kevin de Bruyne play?

In his one interview with the Belgian national broadcaster, Henry said: 'It's not the Thierry Henry show, I'm here to help the manager and the squad. "However, during the match, there will be no friendship". It also gives Antoine Griezmann space to roam.

Previously, as a TV pundit, Henry suggested that Giroud was not good enough, saying in 2015 that Arsenal could not win the English Premier League with him in attack and needed "a top, top-quality striker".

While Giroud has yet to score at this World Cup, his ability to hold the ball up suits France's system and allows Mbappe to make runs down the right flank.

Martinez is not the first Belgium coach to be bowled over by De Bruyne. He is more proactive than reactive.

"Belgium played a great game against Brazil with a specific game plan".

Deschamps also took a jibe at Martinez. They know how to counterattack.

"Belgium are in a forward gear", said Deschamps. "They do it well, they do it fast". That's really anxious me for Belgium because they were exposed by Japan. "They are a fantastic team".

But alas, we've reached the penultimate stage, with two intriguing semi-finals to keep our appetites satisfied over the next two evenings.

For me, there is no doubt as to which one will be the bigger hazard to opposing defences. "There is a lot of respect between us". Several players on both sides share dressing rooms at their clubs and tomorrow they will be playing against each other. It's a unique moment for us to improve further.

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet told AFP pointedly that "we've rather lost sight of him and he has little contact with the federation". I'm not thinking much about what will happen.

Courtois gets the nod in goal following his heroics against Brazil which included a stunning save to prevent Neymar from scoring.

An early goal will really enliven this contest.

Belgium have scored at least two goals in all but one game during this competition.



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