Thursday, 20 September, 2018


We'll show Thierry Henry he picked the wrong side

Harry Kane Luka Modric Harry Kane Luka Modric
Noah Ferguson | 10 July, 2018, 15:17

It promises to be a fascinating encounter as France & Belgium battle it out for a place in the final of the World Cup.

If Griezmann wins, he will have proved a worthy successor indeed by taking France to a World Cup final for the first time since Henry retired from the national team eight years ago. But this is a hard situation, it is not easy for him'.

He, more than many players, gives the impression he is constantly growing, constantly improving, and right now he is playing the best football of his career, and for Belgium he has been directly involved in 20 goals in his last 13 appearances. 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. France have the personnel to take this game wide open, especially with Belgium being sloppy on the defensive end at times.

Belgium, after eliminating title favourites Brazil, are hoping to reach the final for the first time and fulfil the potential of their much-lauded "golden generation".

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

Among the notable matchups, Chelsea have Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and captain Eden Hazard up against N'Golo Kanté and Olivier Giroud, who are certain to start for France. Then he scored the decisive goal in Belgium's 2-1 victory over Brazil in the quarterfinals with a searing, low shot into the far corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.

In the second semifinal, Croatia will play England at 6am Thursday.

Consequently they will be looking to find Mario Mandzukic's head at every opportunity, which plays into England's hands.

On the French side, the attack is led by 19-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe and a pair of 22-year-old fullbacks, Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez, who love to attack on offense.

Earlier it was reported that Achilles had been chosen as the World Cup animal oracle for being the most stress-resistant and human-oriented of about 50 cats living at the Hermitage.

France then brushed aside Uruguay 2-0, earning their third clean sheet from five matches in the process.

Captain Harry Kane is the man leading England's charge in Russian Federation with six goals so far, putting him top in the race for the Golden Boot.

They will now aim to stop Lukaku adding to his tally of four goals in the tournament.

Jamie Vardy, however, remains a doubt for the semi-final after straining his groin against Colombia and requiring an injection straight after the match.

He hadn't quite lived up to the expectations set of him after a stunning season at Manchester City.

But since then they have needed penalties in both of their knock-out games, squeezing past Denmark and hosts Russian Federation on spot kicks after extra-time. "We know each other inside out because many of us [who will be on opposite sides] play for the same clubs". The win over Argentina was a little chaotic but they stood firm against Uruguay, and their central partnership of Samuel Umtiti and Raphael Varane has arguably been the strongest of the tournament.

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