Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

France square off against giant killers Belgium

France square off against giant killers Belgium

When a big-money move inevitably came, it was Chelsea who won the race in 2012 with a pound sterling32 million ($43 million) capture that now seems like a bargain.

"At the time, there wasn't the jersey of Belgium, that's why we wore the one of France". Andres Cunha (Uruguay) will be the referee. I have worked with my staff for 12 years but we did not have an experience of how to win the World Cup.

Deschamps' side were less thrilling, but equally efficient, as they saw off Uruguay in the quarter-finals. "We've never been in such a situation, and that is why we need our team spirit more than ever against France".

Belgium beat France 4-3 the last time the teams met in a friendly in June 2015 in Paris, when Marouane Fellaini scored twice.

In 29 matches for France, both in the underage sides and the seniors, Pavard has not lost a game.

"Undoubtedly so. This group has to play with no fear at all". The FC Barcelona centre-back has a knee injury, and his availability will depend on a fitness test closer to kick-off.

Robert Kidd, Forbes: "I backed Brazil to get the better of Belgium in the quarter-final and won't make the mistake of underestimating the Red Devils again". Even though France has a young team, they also have a very experienced player on the team, the goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris. Roberto Martinez's men arrive to the semifinals with a lot of momentum their way heading into this match, but France is not going to be an easy opponent. Will Belgium be up to the challenge?

Didier Deschamps, the France manager, and Henry's captain when the World Cup and 2000 European Championship were won by Les Bleus, calls it "bizarre" that his compatriot will be on the opposing bench this afternoon, encouraging not Mbappe but the likes of Romelu Lukaku.

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The victor of Tuesday night's game will book themselves a place in the final, and could go on to write their names in the World Cup's history books.

Despite an impressive qualification campaign, former Wigan and Everton manager Martinez came into the tournament with question marks over his true ability.

Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco and Thorgan Hazard could be alternatives to replace Meunier.

Friends and foes at the same time?

Former England defender Wayne Bridge is our guest for the game, where victory would set up a clash with England or Croatia in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday. Henry, scorer of goals that frequently had his audiences asking "How did he do that?" when he was a player, works with Belgian strikers on the fine details of finishing; he is there to divulge secrets, and keep those secrets in a closed circle.

Paul Pogba who looked shackled previously, has started to dominate games, while N'Golo Kante has been at his destructive best, snuffing out potential attacks by the dozen.

France have a plenty of attacking talent too, with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe (pictured top, left and right) particularly impressing in roles behind Giroud, who has offered his side a muscular presence they lacked when Deschamps opted for Ousmane Dembele in their unconvincing opening win over Australia.

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