Umtiti puts France in front


2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: France vs Belgium

France and Belgium will meet Tuesday in St. Petersburg, after both teams booked their spots among the most talented in the 2018 staging of the soccer World Cup. The team will take the victor of England or Croatia in the final, with those two playing on Wednesday.

With Eden Hazard pulling the strings and Romelu Lukaku providing the firepower, Belgium have what it takes to beat France. Hindustan Times delivers the news across all social media platforms, on the web, and at your doorstep.

Deadly duo: Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann have scored six of France's nine goals between them.

That was as close as Belgium came to taking the game to extra-time, though, as Lloris parried a long-range piledriver from Axel Witsel.

Martinez said his team had done well to nullify the French threat from open play and denied that his decision to start Mousa Dembele in midfield had a major effect on the outcome.

He dived to his right midway through the first half to claw away Toby Alderweireld's shot, then got in front of Lukaku to punch away one of the many crosses sent in by Belgium in the final stages. The Chelsea player looked the most likely to get his team on the scoresheet with Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku also looking unsafe.

"So two teams packed with stars, going head-to-head for a place in the World Cup final".

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The remaining semi-final takes place at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday, with the Three Lions looking to make it to the final for the first time since 1966.

Kompany, an injury-prone 32-year-old who may well have played his last World Cup in Russian Federation, believes that, despite the loss, the class of 2018 has done his nation a favor.

Having both secured their seats at the 2018 FIFA World Cup table until next weekend's fight for medals, France and Belgium now have to see who will be pursuing gold and who is left searching for bronze.

Martinez has overseen a run of 19 wins and five draws, culminating in an impressive 2-1 victory over Brazil in the quarter-finals.

And the presence of French World Cup victor Thierry Henry on the Belgian coaching staff as one of Roberto Martinez's assistants adds extra spice to the occasion.

"It might be a bit hard for him but he's working for Belgium now, he wants us to win". "I would have preferred to have Henry on our side, to give me and the other French forwards advice, but I am not too jealous".

"I couldn't ask more of the players' attitude". De Bruyne said. "We are a small country. They played a great game against Brazil with a specific game plan", said the 49-year-old Deschamps. I have not yet experienced that a striker plays so far from goal.

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