For the first time since 1986, France and Belgium will play at the World Cup. That year, Belgium lost to France in the Third Place match 4-2. Semi-Finals is the farthest Belgium has gone. Doing so twice, 1986 and now. Roberto Martinez has done well managing the Belgium side. I will enjoy seeing how he manages this match, against the France side. France are in the semi-finals for the sixth time, 1958, 1982, 1986, 1998, 2006 and now. Making the final in 98 and 2006, also being World Champions in 1998
In one of the best team goals of the tournament, Belgium are lethal on the counter. Just take a look.
Beautiful execution, from the goalkeeper Courtois down to the beautiful run bun Lukaku. Belgium are lethal on the counter, especially with De Bruyne leading the attack from midfield. His distribution this World Cup, has been great. Not to mention the screamer he scored against Brazil. Hazard will be Hazard, simply amazing. Witsel has been solid in midfield for Belgium, but looks better accompanied with Fellaini in there. Chadli has done well when called upon. The Back Three, with Kompany, Alderweireld, and Vertonghen, has looked vulnerable at times. Brazil had pretty free attacking once they broke passed the midfield. Dealing with the pace of Mbappé and Griezmann, could be trouble. It’s a lot of pressure of your mind, when you have Thiabaut Courtois in your team. Been amazing in goal for Belgium.
France will have to find a way, again. As before against Argentina and Uruguay, France can dominate in the counter. They also have an amazing midfielder in N’Golo Kanté. He alone can shut down a swift Belgium counter, then send France the other way. The pairing with Pogba, works well for France. Allows them to get the best out of each midfielder. Pogba will need a big day, he could be very deciding when he’s in his groove. Umtiti and Varane have been the best part about this France team, in my opinion. The tandem works great on just about every area of the pitch. They will have their hands full dealing with the incredible Lukaku. Look for that to be a nice tactical war. It will be interesting to see how Deschamps sets his team up for this match. I’m hoping France can game control of this match, and utilize Giroud up top more. Mbappé no doubt, will be my player to watch. He did Argentina in, badly.
I don’t see it being a very open match, but I could see it being slow at first. Once the counter attacks start flowing, it could turn into who makes nonsense fouls in troubled areas. Both teams have targets on set pieces, as well as good free kick specialist. I enjoy these two teams very much, they bring all aspects to the match. If it does make it to extra time, and penalties, I could see it benefiting France. The big teams just tend to get it done.
Enjoy this match for what it’s worth, it’s a high stakes match, with a trip to the World Cup final on the line. Appreciate the players and how they’ve got here, all the hard work they’ve achieved. It will be a damn good time. Don’t miss it, tomorrow.
Thanks for reading, you matter.
Also, here’s a fun little side story heading into this match. Check it out, read it.
Thierry Henry, the France legend, and Belgium assistant. “I think his heart will be split tomorrow” said the France Captain, Hugo Lloris. Thierry Henry has helped shape this Belgium team, but also played for France.
FotMob , Squawka News.