Published: Вт, Июля 10, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Respect in equal measure as France and Belgium vie for final spot

Respect in equal measure as France and Belgium vie for final spot

'In Belgium we can't follow the path of a previous generation that's won the World Cup.

France will unleash the attacking talents of Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann against Eden Hazard´s gifted Belgium side in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday with a place in the World Cup final at stake.

Many of Belgium and France's players have played against or with each other in the Premier League. I think France have the best midfield in the tournament, with a flowing attack though England and Belgium look competitive. He did not play in the final at the Stade de France, but was in the team which won the European Championship final against Italy two years later in Rotterdam.

As a child, Hazard's love for the French team coincided with their World Cup win on home soil in 1998, while Belgium coach Thierry Henry, who was part of the '98 squad, will no doubt also experience some internal conflict as he aims to help the Red Devils beat his home nation. "Of course, it is a hard situation, it really is not easy for him", said Deschamps. But he did know that from the time he became an assistant to [Roberto] Martinez.

Pogba, meanwhile, also impressed in the quarterfinals with a disciplined performance against Uruguay, though few United fans would have been disappointed to see him take issue with ex-Liverpool striker Luis Suarez in a row after Kylian Mbappe was accused of feigning injury.

Belgium, the tournament's top scorers, have not reached this stage since 1986 when they finished fourth.

After arguably scoring the goal of the tournament against Argentina in the round of 16, Benjamin Pavard has made a name for himself this summer.

"It could be a little bit hard but he's working for Belgium now and he wants us to win". But there haven't been one or two secrets to make it work, it's been common sense.

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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. De Bruyne'sflexibility has allowed Martinez to tinker with his tactics during games and the former Everton boss knows how important the Manchester City playmaker is. "That's the quality that he has".

"I tip France to win the World Cup". In fact, Antoine Griezmann served a timely reminder of why he was so pivotal to this French team with a virtuoso display against Uruguay.

"We will need to anticipate him and be well-positioned".

"I'm pleased for him, he's someone I really appreciate", Deschamps said. Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, and Jesse Lingard rotated possession neatly in the Sweden half, cleverly sucking the opposition to one side of the pitch before quickly switching the play for one of the wing-backs to dart into space and cross.

What's certain is that with one more win Les Bleus are back in the World Cup final for the first time in a dozen years.

France will be at full strength ahead of this game.

"Geographically, we share a border", France captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris said at the pre-match news conference on Monday.

What's next: The victor will face the victor of England and Croatia in the World Cup final Sunday in Moscow. With the sides hard to separate on paper, how they handle the pressure, and perhaps those little nuggets of inside knowledge, could make all the difference.

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