The 2018’s biggest sports event has reached it’s last stage, as the Final of the tournament will takes place by this Sunday where the whole world is eagerly waiting whether there will be a new champion or any former champions will get crowned again. The tournament that kicked off with 32 team is now in the Semi-final stage. In the 1st Semi-Final Les Blues take on the Red Devils. Let us see the details of the upcoming fixture.
● Match Details :
○ Semi-Finals-1: France VS Belgium.
○ Date: 10th July 2018.
Time: 21:00 MSK(UTC+3), 11:30 PM(IST).
○ Venue: Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg
○ TV Broadcast: Sony Networks.
○ Online Streaming: Sony Liv, Airtel TV.
● Team News :
○ France :
The young and prominent squad is giving their consistent performance from the start of the tournament. France finished as winners in the group stage by winning against Australia and Peru and levelled with Denmark. In the round of 16, the team had face South American power house and two times champions Argentina and shocked them by giving them a send off and also broke Messi’s dream. In the Quater Final again it has eliminated another team from South America i.e Uruguay. France is good in all the department, especially skipper Lloris is proving to be a wall. We can’t leave the defensive side of France as well. Varane is taking control of the whole side, the disappointing think for france is Pogba’s performance. He did not create any big chances and also not scored any goals, the Griezmann and Mbappe combo is good utilising each and every chances. While facing Belgium, team co-ordination is 200% important to them while comparing their performance in previous matches.
○ Belgium :
Before the start of the tournament, the experts were saying that Belgium will be the Dark horse in this tournament and that had been proved. Belgium had not lost any of the match in their last 13 fixtures. Belgium did not post any of its matches in the group stage only VS England they had won the game by one goal margin. In the Round Of 16, Japan had given a deadly fear to Belgium by taking massive lead in the 1st half, but any way Belgium’s counter attack ends in favour to them. And in Quater Finals they had kicked out the former World champions Brazil. In the 5 games Belgium had got 8 different goal scorers, so it is difficult for French defenders to stop the Red Devils’ attacking side. The tactics followed by the gaffer Martinez had to be praised as in the starting XI he is starting with Lukaku, De Bruyne and Hazard as a substitute he is bringing Fellani or Vermaelen and this method is working out for them. Belgium NT’s top scorer Lukaku is the Trump card for the team. Hazard is the top contender for Golden Ball. Most probably Belgium can get crowned with the trophy, if they can maintain the compactness they showed in the last match.
● Injury list :
○ France: Nil
○ Belgium: Batshuayi
● Probable XI :
○ France (4-5-1) :
Lloris (GK), (C);
Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez;
Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi;
○ Belgium (3-4-3) :
Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen;
Meunier, Fellani (or) De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco;
Mertens, Lukaku, Hazard.
● Head to Head :
● Recent Form :
○ France: W W D W W
○ Belgium: W W W W W
● Manager’s Quotes :
Coach Didier Deschamps, who was the captain when France won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship, has instilled a steely mentality. “He motivates the troops with strong words,” Pavard said. “We’re ready to go to war with him.”
Deschamps made bold decisions to start Pavard on the right and Lucas Hernandez on the left. The pair, both 22, have only 20 international appearances between them but are playing with good composure.
○ Belgium :
Martinez has called on his men to be brave against France. “This group has to play with no fear at all. If we approach this match with fear within us, we will bring ourselves down and we’d be able to do so much less than what we can actually do.
“To play without fear would probably be the one thing which would help us the most. “This group of players needs to play without fear to keep all of its options open. It’s like a voyage to the moon: We need to face it full of illusions.”
And speaking of his No2 Henry, he added: “Thierry is someone who lives for football.
“He’s a very, very special guy. He brings to the table his experience as winner of a World Cup… that’s golden for you to have.”
● Author’s Take :
Most probably this match’s winner will be the World Champions. Belgium is full of tricks especially Lukaku who is standing 2nd in the race for the Golden Boot with 6 goals. If Belgium plays on the same way then the crown is confirmed. My prediction is France 2-3 Belgium.