Written byRajdeep Saha
European giants France and Belgium face each other in a titanic semi-final clash at the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018.
Both teams come into the tie unbeaten in the tourney and Belgium have registered five victories on the trot.
France and Belgium, both, had striking wins in the quarters and there is nothing much to separate the two sides.
Here is the pre-match report.
France mid-fielder Blaise Matuidi is set to return as his one-match suspension has ended.
Thomas Meunier is suspended for this tie and France will look to re-shuffle at the back.
Belgium did away with 3-4-2-1 formation against Brazil which saw Romelu Lukaku operate in the right flank and Kevin De Bruyne playing as a false nine.
Will they use the same tactic?
Both teams have dream attacks and a world class mid-field.
France have the experience of winning the Cup back in 1998.
Belgium, on the other hand, have a member of that French winning side in Henry, who is assisting coach Roberto Martinez.
Manager's tactics will influence the outcome of the game as much as the performances of the players on field.
French defender Varane has stated that despite Belgium being a young side, their players have displayed maturity and therefore a tough match is expected.
He also cited that Lukaku cannot be given space to dictate terms.
Belgium's De Bruyne opined his side is equal to that of France and they will try to do everything possible to win.
In head-to-head meetings between these two sides, France have won all three games in major tournaments.
This will be the 74th overall meeting between the two nations.
This is France's sixth semi-final.
Antoine Griezmann has seven goals in his last six knock-out matches in major tourneys for France.
Belgium have scored the most goals so far in this World Cup (14).
We choose a 4-4-2 formation keeping the players in mind.
Thibaut Courtois is the custodian of this XI.
In defense, we go with France's Benjamin Pavard at right-back with Lucas Hernandez at left-back.
Vincent Kompany and Varane are central choices.
In mid-field N'Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne fill in.
A 2-man attack sees Kylian Mbappe partnering Griezmann.
The match is scheduled to start on Tuesday at 11:30 PM IST. One can watch the match live on the Sony Ten Network in both English and Hindi commentary. The match can be streamed live on Sony LIV app as well.
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