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France take on Belgium for a place in the final

10 July, 2018, 14:01 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • On a mission Eden Hazard has captained Belgium to the World Cup semi-finals. – AFP

OVERLOOKING the Gulf of Finland, the Krestovsky Stadium awaits a football classic on Tuesday evening.

It promises to be a fascinating encounter as France & Belgium battle it out for a place in the final of the World Cup.

The only difference being is that France have history to live up to. Power and mobility make them the envy of other teams.

Two years later France won a European Champions, with Henry again leading the team with three goals.

The first match sees France take on Belgium on Tuesday in what promises to be a thrilling encounter between two closely matched teams.

Olivier Giroud has apologised to Chelsea colleague Thibault Courtois for choosing France team-mate Hugo Lloris as the best goalkeeper at the World Cup.

"My target is to give everything, and only if we win trophies, I'll be relaxed", Eden Hazard doesn't fit the mould of a modern-day star footballer - coming from humble roots, plying his trade for a club with a penchant for inconsistency, one of Premier League's biggest star has rarely ever been the focal point of attraction off-the-pitch in spite of his sensational achievements on it. We need to rise to challenge and keep doing what we've been doing. "It is a hard situation - weird - it is not easy for him". Elsewhere, Didier Deschamps is likely to keep faith in the side that has done so well for him in Russian Federation.

The most unpredictable and entertaining FIFA World Cup in recent memory wraps up this week, with just four matches left to be played. Marouane Fellaini, who has oft-partnered Pogba in the United midfield, will now be looking to stop the powerful Frenchman.

Belgium can call upon the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, while Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe have shone for France in Russian Federation.

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Though a very different player from the elegant Frenchman, the powerfully built Lukaku showed a touch of Henry in his intelligent dummy that allowed the ball to run through to Nacer Chadli to score Belgium's victor in the thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 win over Japan in the last 16.

Belgium will be hampered by the fact their first choice wing-back Thomas Meunier is suspended after picking up his second yellow card of the competition against Brazil.

"He's become a star in France but when I was playing against him for City against Monaco he'd only played 10 matches", he started. "Each player would be defending his colours".

On his part, Coach Roberto Martinez will seek to use the "Golden Generation" of Belgium talents under his tutelage to grab one of the final slot for the grand finale at the Luzhniki in Moscow.

His 1998 teammate, Didier Deschamps, is in charge of making sure that does not happen in his role as France boss.

Deschamps has the "win-at-all-costs" mentality and it's evident in his six years in-charge of France. He is also the first French player to score and assist in the same World Cup knockout game since Vieira in 2006.

Harry Kane would have to be more clinical in front of goal in order to add to his tally of six goals and possibly emerge as the victor of the famed Golden Boot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He is more proactive than reactive.

France will start the semi-final in Saint Petersburg as favourites, with an impressive mix of youth and experience allied to tournament nous after they reached the Euro 2016 final. "He also cuts out a lot of passes", Deschamps said.

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