ibusinesslines.com November 17, 2018

Brilliant Belgium bound for final at expense of no-frills France

09 July 2018, 08:10 | Charlene Valdez

Belgium winger Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard Belgium Football 2018 FIFA World Cup FIFA World Cup 2018 France vs Belgium

Some football fans in Lafia say they foresee Thierry Henry, a French national and assistant coach of Belgian National Football team team, finding himself in a dilemma as France and Belgium lock horns Tuesday in one of the semi final encounters in the ongoing FIFA World Cup competition in Russian Federation.

Uruguayan Andres Cunha will referee the World Cup semi-final between France and Belgium at the St Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday evening, Federation Internationale de Football Association said on Monday.

Didier Deschamps, the France manager, and Henry's captain when the World Cup and 2000 European Championship were won by Les Bleus, calls it "bizarre" that his compatriot will be on the opposing bench this afternoon, encouraging not Mbappe but the likes of Romelu Lukaku.

Giroud suggested Henry's real aim is to learn enough to earn a spot on the French coaching staff some day.

Henry was part of the 1998 team that won the World Cup on home turf, scoring three goals in his first major tournament and converting a penalty in a nerve-rattling shoo-out against Italy in the quarter finals. But we are not going to forget the others since France has a very complete attacking pattern.

"We want desperately to get to the final and go on and win, because if it doesn't happen it will forever be a disappointment".

"France were one of the favourites before the World Cup, and I think the game will be tougher than against Brazil due to their individual quality", he said. He does a job, and he does it ever so well, but you can't win the league'.

Belgium's haul of 14 goals is the most by the semi-final stage of a World Cup tournament since Brazil in 2002 (15).

"It has been a few years since he said what he said about me".

Meanwhile, France star Kylian Mbappe was a notable absentee from the start of training ahead of the showdown with Belgium in Saint Petersburg.

Thierry Henry's presence at the 2018 World Cup has been as discreet as he can make it, but he cannot control all the cameramen turning their lenses on him, all the press conference enquiries about him or indeed, the exuberance of some Belgian players.

Belgium's Thomas Meunier will miss the game after picking up a second yellow card but France will be buoyed by the return of defensive midfielder Blaise Matuidi, after sitting out a suspension of his own. If France wins, he can not celebrate; it is the same if Belgium wins.

The 31-year-old, who joined Chelsea in January, has yet to score at the World Cup and has drawn blanks in each of his last six appearances for France. We need to defend spaces more than the player himself.

"He is lucky to be with a team with a fine generation of players".

This last-four match-up looks to have more potential for goals than England v Croatia and I'm happy to play the underdog option and go Over 2.5 at [2.22]. "It doesn't shock me at all".

France have only been improving over the course of their World Cup campaign.

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