Martinez: Belgium Beaten By A Bit Of French Luck

2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: France vs Belgium

It's going to be France-England according to Whelan

The semi-final matchup of the European neighbors promises to be full of intrigue as France aim to reach the final for the first time since a Zinedine Zidane-led team did so in Germany in 2006.

France scored once; Belgium didn't.

Facing them is France, the 1998 World Cup victor, that has players such as Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba or Antoine Griezman.

France's players danced on the field after the final whistle and their fans sang in the stands long past the end of the match, surrounded by yellow-clad security. He is on the bench and facing his home nation.

Martinez explained how Henry's experience of pressure moments offered something other members of the former Everton manager's staff could not.

Asked what Macron said, Mbappe replied: "President Macron said that he would see us in the semifinals, and that he was going to come back to see us with the World Cup".

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It was England's eighth set-piece goal of its 11 in Russian Federation , and the centre back's first in global soccer. Steve McManaman and the FC crew agree Sweden did not ask many questions of England in the quarterfinals.

Against Brazil in the quarters, Martinez showed tactical adventure, as he pushed target man Lukaku to the wing to allow De Bruyne to operate as a "false nine".

Kylian Mbappe was lethal in France's 4-3 second-round win over Argentina, using his pace to devastating effect, but Martinez said his side would not make the mistake of focusing exclusively on one player. "I felt we started the second-half with a better tempo and were growing into the game when we conceded from a corner".

France booked their place in the semi-final with a comfortable 2-0 win over Uruguay, while Belgium's route here saw them defeat five-time winners Brazil in the quarters.

Right from the beginning of the match, there was an early possession by France while Belgium attacked from the right side.

Given how the voting usually goes, he nearly surely won't win the player of the tournament award, but he deserves more consideration, especially if France lifts the trophy on Sunday.

"We know there are going to be hard moments and we'll have to be ready to suffer".

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"It is a fantastic generation and in order to beat them we will have to play a great match".

"Even in my biggest dreams I had not imagined that, and yet I am a big dreamer".

I don't expect either side to sit back and play negative.

Mbappe and Lukaku are among the main marksmen for their countries. Both teams have the strength, speed and determination to be a FIFA World Champion, but only one can take a giant step forward to the finals.

Victory would set up a showpiece against Croatia or England - who meet on Wednesday - but who will progress?

"We had the ball and I think we have to give a lot of credit to France for the way they defended - they were very deep, they gave us a lot of respect in that way and yet we couldn't find a bit of margin in front of goal, a little bit of luck".

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Croatia could well be battling fatigue and injuries after a strength-sapping penalty shootout to edge out host nation Russian Federation on Saturday.

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