Friday, 20 July, 2018


France coach Deschamps: Giroud so critical to our system

Eden Hazard celebrating after Belgium knocked out Brazil in the quarterfinals Eden Hazard celebrating after Belgium knocked out Brazil in the quarterfinals
Noah Ferguson | 09 July, 2018, 20:52

Two of Belgium's Premier League stars can help boost the goal count in Tuesday night's World Cup semi-final showdown with France, says Dave Tindall.

Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku were also outstanding against the Brazilians and Belgium have won their last two matches without this pair finding the net.

While Belgium lead the way with 14 goals in this World Cup, France have managed eight in their five matches.

Henry was part of the 1998 team that won the World Cup on home turf, scoring three goals in his first major tournament and converting a penalty in a nerve-rattling shoo-out against Italy in the quarter finals.

"We want desperately to get to the final and go on and win, because if it doesn't happen it will forever be a disappointment".

Soccer Football - World Cup - France News Conference - France Training Camp, Istra, Russia - July 8, 2018 France's Olivier Giroud during news conference.

There is a very good chance, 3/4 to be exact that by the time this tournament ends on Sunday, one of these nations gets to bury the underachiever label; at least for a very long time.

Henry played 123 times for France, retiring from global football after the 2010 World Cup.

Mbappe is being extensively praised by football observers from all over the world right now, with Belgium's Hazard deeming the 19-year-old a strong candidate for the Ballon d'Or award. France and Belgium are evenly matched in a lot of departments and it could come down to which side plays better to stop the other. There's still a sense that he could be doing more with the brilliant set of players at his disposal, France frequently a fairly stodgy team to watch, relying on moments of brilliance from Pogba, Mbappe or Griezmann.

The predominant weapon for both teams is their speed going forward, catapulting players with instinctive talent into positions from where their genius can prove lethal. We can't leave him any space because he's a quality player.

Stung into action, Martinez sent on Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli in the 65th minute, and both were heavily involved as Belgium pulled off a late comeback, with Chadli securing victory with practically the last kick of the game.

Belgium's returning first team players made a sluggish start against the Samurai Blue and suddenly found themselves trailing by two goals with time ebbing away. "It doesn't shock me at all".

Without further ado, here is our guide to the World Cup semi-finals. Eden Hazard's World Cup prediction.

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