France and Belgium thoroughly deserve their place in the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup after producing magnificent displays en route to this stage, and this clash is set to go down the wire considering the quality on both sides.
This is the first time Les Blues will be confronting their close door neighbors in a competitive meeting since 1986 in what will be a fiercely contested derby. The two teams have lived up to pre-tournament billing as World Cup contenders, with most neutrals slightly in favor of the Belgian’s golden generation to progress to the finals.
BEST TRIO IN ATTACK
As is the case in the geographic sense, in which France and Belgium share a border, there’s no apparent distance between the teams. Both have demonstrated the ability to explosively attack, intelligently and doggedly defend and play with the tactical sophistication required to reach this stage of the tournament.
The front three of both teams can walk into any team in the world currently looking at their forms. The French have the likes of Mbappe, Giroud, and Griezmann while the Belgians have relied on the services of Hazard, De Bruyne, and Lukaku to deliver the goods.
Statistically, the Red Devils have been clinical in front of goal as the lead the tournament goal ranking with 14 goals with the front trio all contributing their quota. The French have arguably the best young player in the competition in the mold of Kylian Mbappe, with the European golden boy winner making headlines with his outstanding performance thus far.
In the middle of the park, N’Golo Kante has been phenomenal alongside Matuidi and Paul Pogba. Didier Deschamps will once again rely on his lads to nullify the threat of fellow Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard and De Bruyne in midfield.
It’s definitely a hard one to call with both sides set to go for the jugular. However, I fancy the French team to edge it slightly. They are still hurting from the defeat to Portugal two years ago and will see this as another opportunity to make amends and seal a second World Cup title. The Belgians, on the other hand, will be aiming to live up to the billing of “Golden Generation” by winning their first ever World Cup trophy.
Griezmann and Mbappe to score for Didier Deschamps side with Lukaku to grab one for the Belgians in a cagey 2-1 for France.