Mbappe, Griezmann, Hazard, De Bruyne All Start In World Cup Semi Final

  • Mbappe, Griezmann, Hazard, De Bruyne All Start In World Cup Semi Final

Mbappe, Griezmann, Hazard, De Bruyne All Start In World Cup Semi Final

Roberto Martinez's surprise 4-3-3 was just insane enough to confuse the Brazil defence throughout the first half of their quarter-final, which puts them in a strong position to do something similar on the counter-attack against France - particularly through the middle.

Mick Jagger was one of the many famous faces in the stands at St. Petersburg Stadium.

A goal scored on a header early in the second half by Samuel Umtiti, combined with a brilliant defensive performance was enough to carry France past Belgium 1-0 in Tuesday's semifinal in Saint Petersburg. "On the personal front it is with great pleasure that I'm going to see him tomorrow".

Kylian Mbappe has been one of the standout stars of the sparkling Russian Federation showpiece, and it's no surprise to see him amongst Didier Deschamps' starting XI, while he will be joined by Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud in a mouth-watering attacking triumvirate. Blaise Matuidi was suspended for France's 2-0 quarterfinal win over Uruguay, but he is expected to return to the lineup.

With the likes of Mbappe, Griezmann and Giroud for France facing off against Lukaku, Hazard and De Bruyne for Belgium, there just has to be goals in this one.

"The game was very close, very tight", Belgium manager Roberto Martinez said following the match.

After reaching the quarterfinals at the 2014 World Cup and the European Championship in 2016, Belgium again missed the chance to get to an worldwide final and has yet to fulfil its lofty expectations.

Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco and Thorgan Hazard could be alternatives to replace Meunier.

At the whistle the young French outfit were in raptures as they booked their first World Cup Final berth since 2006.

Friends and foes at the same time? Witsel and Marouane Fellaini aren't adept at stopping quick interchanges, and so the thought of Olivier Giroud's excellent lay-offs, Griezmann's brilliant space-creating passes, and Mbappe's speed should terrify Belgian fans.

It was a fascinating first half and all that was missing was a goal but one came soon after the break.

Belgium had won all five matches in Russian Federation coming into their meeting with the French, and had scored 14 goals in the process.

Les Bleus are headed to the World Cup final.

Despite his affection for France and his love of Zidane, Hazard opted to play for the country of his birth.

Three of the last four meetings between the sides have produced under 2.5 goals in total.

There are plenty of other ways to watch today's France-Belgium game, meanwhile. Both matches happened during the Round of 16.

"We showed character and mentality, it was very hard for us tonight". One where the stakes will be extremely high between two attacking-minded sides. And once they got their goal, they shut things down completely, the entire team turning into a completely selfless unit, every single player doing what they could to frustrate and disrupt.

"We could easily have frozen".