Sport

France take on Belgium for a place in the final

France take on Belgium for a place in the final”

Andres Cunha (Uruguay) will be the referee.

18 of the 20 World Cups of all-time have gone to nations that aren't these four - have we ever seen such an open contest? The Manchester United striker has scored four goals in four matches, but it was his barnstorming run at the Brazil defence to set up Kevin De Bruyne's goal that will be remembered from their 2-1 quarter-final victory. He awarded France a penalty kick after a video review of a tackle from behind by Joshua Risdon on Antoine Griezmann, who converted for a 1-0 lead.

Both teams have come through a more testing side of the draw in fairness, with Les Bleus beating Argentina and Uruguay to get to this point, and Belgium had five-time winners Brazil in their way.

As Argentina showed, France can be susceptible defensively.

In team news, Corentin Tolisso is likely to drop out in favour of Blaise Matuidi after the Juventus midfielder has served his one-game suspension.

Eden Hazard has been one of the best players at the tournament and stands out in a side crammed with world-class talent.

France did raise a number of questions during the group phase of the competition over whether they were going to be able to live up to the significant hype surrounding their star studded squad.

Here's a look at how you can watch the two World Cup semi-finals.

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. 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.

Thierry Henry's presence at the 2018 World Cup has been as discreet as he can make it, but he cannot control all the cameramen turning their lenses on him, all the press conference enquiries about him or indeed, the exuberance of some Belgian players.

"With Belgium, Croatia and England this World Cup has been the World Cup of the outsider and Belgium is clearly an outsider".

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

Griezmann has seven goals in his last six tournament knockout matches and nine goals and three assists in the World Cup and European Championship. And with the quality on offer, it could be a goal-fest that many are predicting this game would be.

Belgium offers multiple threats, including the speed and trickery of forward Eden Hazard and the strength and finishing of striker Romelu Lukaku, who has scored four goals in Russian Federation.

Belgium are unbeaten in the last three friendlies between the two sides (W1, D2).

Tuesday's World Cup semifinal sees two of the strongest teams in the tournament face off but is still considered something of a surprise.

"We lost, but in the 25-ish games that followed we we're never tested again". 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. I thought it was fantastic how he did it, how he worked it out and how the players did it.



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