Hazard to go up against adopted France of his hero Zidane

10 July, 2018, 22:29 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • Belgium's Moussa Dembele makes a point to Thierry Henry at training

The victor will face either Croatia or England, who play Thursday (2am Malaysia time), in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.

France are seeking their first World Cup final since their defeat to Italy in 2006.

The precocious talent of the young Hazard did not pass unnoticed at Clairefontaine, the France Football Federation's elite forming school, and overtures were made to try and persuade him to represent his adopted country.

Thierry Henry has never been slow coming forward - on or off the field - but the odd thing is that he has only ever given one interview in his role as what the Belgian FA call "the second assistant" to manager Roberto Martinez.

The teams have met a staggering 73 times in their 114-year rivalry, with Belgium ahead on 30 wins to France's 24, and the teams playing out 19 draws.

Now it is his job to halt the run of his home nation.

"He will be feeling divided loyalties tomorrow", France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris said on Monday.

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".

Belgium´s Kevin De Bruyne said Henry had talked little about his feelings. This allowed De Bruyne to dominate the number ten zone (by dropping into it, rather than hover there, which is easier to mark) and Lukaku to arc into the centre-forward spaces left when De Bruyne vacated (and pulled centre-backs with him). Martinez added he reckons the St. Petersburg stadium will see a battle of "very similar nations" on Tuesday. Barring a Kylian Mbappe-inspired 4-3 victory over Argentina, France have lacked cohesion in the final third.

It might even end with an England-France final.

Griezmann has seven goals in his last six tournament knockout matches and nine goals and three assists in the World Cup and European Championship.

Let us know in the comments section below.

But a simple duplication of style might not to do against a formidable French team without injury or suspension issues.

If he can do that, then the golden generation could well glitter alongside the World Cup, as the winners of this semi-final would be odds-on favourites to lift the trophy on Sunday.

"When you have such a solid foundation, you have the basics and clear understanding of what we want to do and achieve, it´s not a surprise that it´s going well for us".

"Do you think Belgium will have a comeback if France were leading 2-0 like they did against Japan?" Harry Maguire's brilliant aerial performances so far this tournament, culminating in him winning 22 headers against Sweden and Colombia, would suggest Jordan Pickford's goal won't be regularly troubled. That was the last competitive match between the two countries but there have been eight worldwide friendlies since. Both sides are coming off of impressive quarter-final performances and there is a sense that the victor of the tournament will probably come from this tie.

France will meet a European side only for the second time during the current World Cup, as their previous opponents outside of Denmark included Australia, Peru, Argentina and Uruguay.



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