France vs Belgium: A 'Final Quality' Match

France and Belgium fight it out for World Cup final place

Mertens might be the risk Belgium needs to take in order to reach their first ever World Cup final. But we will be ready because we have an extremely good state of mind, and it is the semi-finals in the World Cup.

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made a great save in each half, denying the potent Belgian attack of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku the chance to advance the country to its first major final.

Having gained the lead, France showed the defensive nous to nullify the threat from Belgium's Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne, closing out the game for a win that sent them to their second straight major tournament final, following their loss to Portugal in Euro 2016. Kylian Mbappe is the standout but N'Golo Kante is probably their most important player.

Martinez replicated his tactic at Everton of deploying Romelu Lukaku as a right-winger against the adventurous Marcelo, leaving the Manchester United forward to torment Miranda and kickstart a plethora of counter-attacks.

Olivier Giroud has admitted that he is eager to show French legend and Belgium assistant coach Thierry Henry that he is part of the wrong camp when the two continental neighbours face off in the World Cup semi-final on Tuesday night.

France have youth on their side but Didier Deschamps does his best to keep them organised and won't let them run wild and free.

"It happens sometimes when you play in a foreign club and come back and play against a French team". Barring a Kylian Mbappe-inspired 4-3 victory over Argentina, France have lacked cohesion in the final third.

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Deschamps and Belgium coach Roberto Martinez will have a tactical duel on the sidelines of the pitch. Deschamps - famously dubbed as the "water carrier" for his style of play when he captained the France squad to victory in 1998; providing the legs for the more creative midfielders around him - and Martinez have very different approaches to the game. France forward Antoine Griezmann shouted during the post-match celebrations. This is the team with the highest number of goals scored in the World Cup, 15, so far.

Southgate has told his players they have the potential to be bigger heroes even than the team featuring Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton that win on home soil in 1966. "For him tomorrow it could be a bit hard, but he works for Belgium now, he wants us to win. On the personal front it is with great pleasure that I'm going to see him tomorrow".

The match, which took place in the suburbs of Brussels, saw Belgium, in red, draw with France, in white, three-all.

But it was one moment in the game in particular that impressed Murphy. We immensely respect the quality of France.

While, Martinez isn't expected to mirror the entirety of his masterplan against France, this newfound setup is the flawless marriage between Belgium's high-flying offensive interplay and resoluteness at the back with the Alderweireld-Kompany-Vertonghen trio coming to the fore against one of the tournament's most potent attacking threats in Brazil.

De Bruyne, speaking before Martinez, echoed similar thoughts.

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