The two countries face each other tomorrow night, with the victor facing either England or Croatia in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday.
OVERLOOKING the Gulf of Finland, the Krestovsky Stadium awaits a football classic on Tuesday evening. The side accused of bottling it at the biggest stage takes on the side with no history. "Both have the right mix of youth and experience and also lots of individual talent".
Belgium's foray into the last four of a World Cup was a long-time coming, the country's golden generation of footballers hoping to improve upon their Maradona-orchestrated semi-final loss 32 years ago.
The golden generation of Belgium is trying to win their maiden global title, to set a benchmark for its teams of the future to be compared to.
Belgium has played neighbouring France 73 times, but the teams haven't met in three years - and hadn't met in a competitive game since the 1986 World Cup.
"I've met quite a few of those players and we know exactly how they're held and perhaps, in the modern era, that would be even crazier", Southgate told British newspapers.
"We will need to anticipate him and be well-positioned". "It is true that it is odd to have him against us for this match". It's hard to beat him on the sides. A roster with most of its key players still under 25 meant that there was time to fulfill their potential.
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During the debate surrounding the issue, Hunt said it would likely be his "last big job in politics". You will either own or have permission to use anything you provide.
Chadli netted a dramatic stoppage-time victor in the round of 16 against Japan as Belgium came from two goals down to win 3-2. There could also have been a fascinating duel on the wings between French teen sensation Kylian Mbappe and his PSG team-mate Thomas Meunier but that won't happen since the Belgian is suspended for the game. "Each player would be defending his colours".
This semifinal will also see Deschamps cross paths with former worldwide teammate Thierry Henry, who is now assistant to Belgium coach Roberto Martinez. Lloris has been criticized during the past year after errors for France and Tottenham. Casemiro's absence had already left the Selecao defence porous, but Hazard's mazy runs and sublime passing skills combined with Lukaku's intelligent link-up play and de Bruyne's authoritative midfield display produced one of the finest halves of World Cup football ever showcased by any nation.
- Why has World Cup been full of surprises? He is more proactive than reactive.
Both sides have overcome impressive opponents in Russian Federation so far, but who has the edge to take them all the way to the final?
"It is weird", said Deschamps, "because he is French and that he will be on the bench of the opposition".
In France's World Cup opener against Australia, he let a long shot go past him and watched in relief as it hit the crossbar.
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