World Cup – France-Belgium
France meets Belgium in the first 1/2-final match of the FIFA World Cup in Russia. These two teams will meet at the Saint-Petersburg Stadium in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg.
France are aiming to qualify for their first World Cup final since 2006. Les Bleus are champions from 1998 and now they are aiming to clinch their second title in history. Even before the tournament in Russia to begin, the French team was regarded as one of the big favourites for the title. Didier Deschamps’ side is still unbeaten on Russian soil, winning four of its five games played so far.
In the previous round France secured a 2-0 win over Uruguay during the 1/4-finals. After conceding three goals against Argentina few days before, France kept a clean sheet against La Celeste. Meanwhile Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann’s goals secured them a participation at the 1/2-finals.
Belgium qualified for their second World Cup final and first since 1986. Many experts claim that right now Belgium are having the best generation of their history. Even better than the one from 1986. In the previous round the Red Devils proved their quality, beating one of the big favourites for the title – Brazil. Since the World Cup began, Belgium are flawless – five wins from five games played. They have scored 14 goals since the start of the competition, proving to be one of the most exciting teams in Russia this year.
Didier Deschamps have a full squad for this 1/2-final. Blaise Matuidi missed the 1/4-final against Uruguay because of suspension, but now Juventus’ midfielder is ready to return on the pitch. Most likely he will return to France’s starting eleven.
Belgium’s head coach Roberto Martinez can’t use the right wing back Thomas Meunier, who is suspended for the game. Now Martinez has to decide who is about to replace him. Maybe this will be Toby Alderweireld, although he’s playing as a centre back since the start of the World Cup.
Both teams are pretty solid in defense, but they also have an impressive striking force. France are using the pace and technique of Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, while Olivier Giroud is bringing some height and physics in their attack line. Midfielders Ngolo Kante and Paul Pogba are also very important for controlling the play and ruling the centre of the pitch.
Against Brazil Roberto Martinez tried something new, moving Kevin De Bruyne closer to the opponent’s goal. It worked well and De Bruyne scored one of the two goals in the Brazilian net. We shall expect to see him once again more upfront on the pitch. The captain Eden Hazard and the striker Romelu Lukaku are the other ones which France have to keep under control. Hazard made a great match against Brazil and he proved that he’s a world class player.
We think that this World Cup game between France and Belgium is a very balanced one. Both teams are incredibly good at this moment, which makes the match unpredictable. We expect to see goals from both teams – that’s for sure.