France and Belgium will meet on today with a place in the World Cup finals on the line. Both sides put in composed quarter-final performances and are now just a game away from the biggest prize in World Football.
Raphael Varane & Samuel Umtiti were tight at the back, and this points to a wider defensive stability, the only blot on their copybook was the three goals conceded to Argentina in the round of sixteen.
Since then the duo has been impressive and that was underlined with Raphael Varane scoring the opener against Uruguay with a glancing header.
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.
Elsewhere, Didier Deschamps is likely to keep faith in the side that has done so well for him in Russia.
N’golo Kante’s role in central midfield may not grab the most headlines. However, his tireless work up against Fellaini and Alex Witsel is going to be important if France is going to reach their third ever World Cup final.
The Chelsea man will also be facing off against Eden Hazard, and will certainly be looking to get one over his team-mate at club level.
As for Belgium, their Golden Generation put in one of the best tactical performance of the World Cup to defeat Brazil 2-1 who masterminded the victory by pushing both Hazard & Romelu Lukaku out onto the wings, with the aim of defending deep and catching Brazil on the break.
Eden Hazard has been one of the best players at the tournament and stands out in a side crammed with world-class talent. The attacker has been crucial to Belgium’s run to the semi-finals, providing two goals and two assists for his side. Hazard’s breakneck speed on the counter-attack was a useful asset as Belgium looked to close out the tie against Brazil, the 27-year-olds pace could be needed if Belgium takes the lead in the semi-final.
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