Hazard's Belgium block French path in SWC semi

Hazard's Belgium block French path in SWC semi

Who will come out on top?

Belgium's assistant coach Thierry Henry won the World Cup with France in 1998 and he will be "plotting his nation's downfall" in St Petersburg on Tuesday, the Daily Mail reports. The match kicks-off at 20:00 hrs (BST) at Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg. While France may not have set the world alight, the former Marseille manager's team have conceded a mere four goals in five matches.

Mbappe churned out a virtuoso performance against Argentina in the last 16, bagging a stunning brace, being a constant threat with his terrifying pace.

Belgium´s confidence will be high after knocked out Neymar´s Brazil in the quarter-finals and they are the only team to have won all their matches in Russian Federation, top-scoring with 14 goals. A roster with most of its key players still under 25 meant that there was time to fulfill their potential. Martinez is not a man known for his defensive organisation but France will make him think twice and maybe thrice. Specifically, De Bruyne. But ultimately, France have the edge: the skill, running, intelligence, strength and invention from their trio is surely superior to their opponents. It arrived at this point the tournament with an impressive 2-0 victory over Uruguay in the quarterfinals.

For me, there is no doubt as to which one will be the bigger hazard to opposing defences. The FC Barcelona centre-back has a knee injury, and his availability will depend on a fitness test closer to kick-off. The attacker has been crucial to Belgium's run to the semi-finals, providing two goals and two assists for his side.

With Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne, they lost in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals and at the same stage at Euro 2016, but under Roberto Martinez in Russian Federation they have already taken an extra step after stunning Brazil in the last eight in Kazan. Will Belgium be up to the challenge? We know it will be a tough match.

Hazard has arguably been the outstanding player of the tournament and pulled Brazil and their right back Fagner around the field in their quarter-final.

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Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli hail from Morocco, Mousa Dembele has a Malian father, and Axel Witsel was born to a French Caribbean father.

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

"It's been a few years now that he said certain things in the media, before going back on his words or at least changing them", Giroud said. Lukaku is on four goals and France's Griezmann and Mbappe have three each.

France have been steadily finding their best form over the course of their FIFA World Cup 2018 campaign.

Previous results: In group play, defeated Panama, 3-0; defeated Tunisia, 5-2; defeated England, 1-0. "We can only be ourselves and we already have time to use this World Cup as an advantage with the newest generations". One where the stakes will be extremely high between two attacking-minded sides. If I'm Martinez, I play the exact same way I did against Brazil and only open up and increase numbers going forward if France takes a lead. He is an obvious, natural role model for any forward, and the ideal one for, say, a precious, strong pacey striker who, like him, was born on the outskirts of Paris, and, like him, served his apprenticeship at Monaco and, like him, scored crucial goals to galvanise a World Cup campaign.

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