France Vs Belgium, 10 July 2018

France Belgium graphic

France legend Thierry Henry firmly in Belgium's camp for World Cup semifinal

France overcame two South American teams in the form of Argentina and Uruguay in the knockout stages to reach the semi-finals while Belgium came from behind to beat Japan before getting a famous win over Brazil to get to this stage.

Defender Samuel Umtiti's goal from a corner sends France through to the World Cup final. They have, in fact, conceded the most goals of any remaining team.

The victor will face either England or Croatia in Moscow for the title on Sunday, July 15.

"Vive la France! Vive la Republique!"

Paul Pogba's waywardness from the right side of central midfield will leave space for the brilliant interplay between Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne, and Romelu Lukaku.

France striker Olivier Giroud is turning Henry's presence on the opposing side into an extra source of motivation for tomorrow's semi-final, which is France's first since 2006 and only the second ever for Belgium.

Two years ago at home, the French surprisingly lost to Portugal 1-0 in the Euro 2016 title match. Zidane was sent off in what was his final match. It was a deserved win by Didier Deschamp's team, which had 19 shots, 10 more than Belgium.

"Maybe he'll sing La Marseillaise, which I would find normal", said De Bruyne.

France's football-loving President Emmanuel Macron and Belgian King Philippe were watching from the stands, along with Rolling Stones front-man Sir Mick Jagger.

Mignolet's Belgium defeated by France
In 29 matches for France , both in the underage sides and the seniors, Pavard has not lost a game. Of course, it is a hard situation, it really is not easy for him", said Deschamps.


The two sides are competing for a place in the World Cup final, and ahead of the game, it is Belgium who marginally boast the most impressive performers.

In search of the equalizer, Belgium repeatedly sent over crosses from both wings but Umtiti and Varane, both centre backs, used their bodies cleverly to hold off Fellaini and Lukaku.

Not only is Thierry Henry already taken, but the team that hired France's record scorer as an assistant coach is, yes, you guessed it. Belgium.

Tuesday will be the first time Belgium has contested a World Cup semifinal in 32 years.

Much was made about France's lack of depth in full-back positions, but Lucas Hernandez has proved a solid addition to the squad. After all, they have won their five World Cup matches, and their road has been significantly tougher than France's one.

Yet while Hazard - Belgium's captain - faded after a strong opening 30 minutes, Mbappe was a constant threat.

France have no such selection issues and are nearly certain to stick with Stuttgart's Benjamin Pavard at right back after a string of impressive displays from the 22-year-old have made him one of the tournament's stand-out defenders. Belgium would go on to win and in the next match Martinez started both Fellaini and Chadli, with De Bruyne higher up the pitch.

Along with the French and Gabonese presidents and the king and queen of Belgium, there was rock "n" roll royalty watching the game. The match kicks-off at 20:00 hrs (BST) at Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg. This means that the club will have at least one representative in the 2018 FIFA World Cup final. It's unknown how Martinez will set up his squad against France, who present a similar defensive challenge.

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