Belgium Team vs France, Predicted XI

Belgium Team vs France, Predicted XI

Belgium Team vs France, Predicted XI

That has led David Trezeguet, a World Cup champion and former teammate of Henry's, to make a prediction of his own: Griezmann and teenage teammate Kylian Mbappe won't only succeed Henry, they'll surpass him. Les Bleus probably will score once through pure graft and no more. But, qualification to the knockout rounds seems to have turned on a switch.

This will be the 74th meeting between with the sides and surprisingly, it's Belgium who have had the upper hand on most occasions. The Red Devils were largely untroubled in the group stage.

In their quarter-final encounter against Brazil, Belgium were imperious. A brilliant performance from Kylian Mbappe lifted France to a 4-3 win over Argentina, and goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann secured an easier-than-expected 2-0 victory over Uruguay the last time out.

Both sides know what is like to turn results around during the current World Cup campaign.

Didier Deschamps unearthed a gem in Pavard.

First, his surging run helped set up Nacer Chadli's late victor in the come-from-behind 3-2 defeat of Japan. Samuel Umtiti, who anchors Les Bleus's back line, will be key in managing the pace and thwarting Belgian advances. N'Golo Kante, the man who fuels Eden Hazard's mesmeric performances for Chelsea, would need to defend against the Belgian star forward. That particular action of the French midfielder unsuccessfully shooting at goal and the subsequent turnover that led to a mistake - a foul in this case - sum up his importance to this France team. With no natural replacement in his squad, the Belgium manager will have to bank on the duo of Nacer Chadli and Yannick Carrasco to be his wing-backs.

Coach Janne Andersson conceded England might be the only team at this tournament whose aerial prowess is on par with his Swedish side. The West Bromwich Albion man will look to be influential once again with his marauding runs down the right flank.

"He played man-to-man against Kolarov and devoured him, defensively and offensively, " Wilmots told the Associated Press in an interview before the World Cup. Kevin De Bruyne, the attack-minded midfielder, coupled savvy with a pure shot from distance to find the net.

The back-three of Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany and Toby Alderweireld were at their most impressive thus far against Brazil.

France striker Olivier Giroud is turning Henry's presence on the opposing side into an extra source of motivation for tomorrow's semi-final, which is France's first since 2006 and only the second ever for Belgium. Thibaut Courtois and his defence were having none of it though.

In France, sports shops were rapidly selling out of the national soccer strip on Tuesday as fans got ready for the semi-final showdown in St. Petersburg.

France take on Belgium at Krestovsky Stadium on Wednesday (AEST), with their all-time record goalscorer Henry now a member of Red Devils coach Roberto Martinez's backroom staff.

The last time when both France and Belgium reached the FIFA World Cup semi-final in the same edition was in 1986.

Belgium's assistant coach Thierry Henry won the World Cup with France in 1998 and he will be "plotting his nation's downfall" in St Petersburg on Tuesday, the Daily Mail reports.

The doubts regarding the extent of French progress in the World Cup was never about the personnel.

'When you go to a club overseas and play one from your own country, you are part of the enemy team, ' said France coach Didier Deschamps on Monday.

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