Belgium star Hazard: I used to support France growing up

Belgium had defeated Brazil 2-0 in their quarterfinal encounter while France beat Uruguay 2-0

Belgium had defeated Brazil 2-0 in their quarterfinal encounter while France beat Uruguay 2-0

Considering the attacking strength of France and Belgium, there's potential for a goal-fest when the European neighbours meet in the World Cup semifinals.

OVERLOOKING the Gulf of Finland, the Krestovsky Stadium awaits a football classic on Tuesday evening.

Will Croatia do one better than its famous 1998 squad, or is football finally "coming home?"

Both teams have shown electric pace on the counter attack, and we're sure to see some goals in St Petersburg.

Belgium are in uncharted territory for their World Cup semi-final with France, but believe their team spirit and togetherness can ensure they carry on their extraordinary journey in Russian Federation, manager Roberto Martinez has said. Against France though, it could be different.

Belgium won 4-3 against France when they met in a friendly match in 2015.

While England literarily strolled through their match against Sweden, they look favoured to win the highly anticipated match. He has lived through great moments in the blue jersey.

Lloris will have Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, the defensive duo who play in front of him for Tottenham Hotspur, on the opposite side.

"We played together as team-mates and he was much younger and I was at the end of my career". Paul Pogba will go against Marouane Fellaini. Yes, the likenesses between Kylian Mbappe and Henry are uncanny, except that Mbappe is still a teenager while stamping his mark on this tournament, while, 20 years ago, in France, Henry was a year older.

"When you go to a club overseas and play against one from your own country, you are part of the enemy", said the France coach. "Each player would be defending his colours".

That's because coach Roberto Martinez believes the Manchester City midfielder is such a talented player, he could start virtually anywhere on the field and he'd excel. The victor of this game will go to the finals on Sunday while the loser will play for third on Saturday.

This combination of pictures shows Belgium´s forward Eden Hazard (L) on July 2, 2018 and France´s forward Antoine Griezmann on June 21, 2018.

Deschamps has the "win-at-all-costs" mentality and it's evident in his six years in-charge of France.

Both teams have overcome formidable obstacles with Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Japan being the scalps these teams have claimed on the way to the semi final.

It's easy to be suspicious of Roberto Martinez, so much a smooth talker that he occasionally comes across as a motivational speaker or self-help guru who fell into football nearly by accident.

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"Quite simply, I think Belgium is the most complete side in the tournament, in all aspects of the game".

Deschamps also took a jibe at Martinez.

Tuesday's game has an added twist of intrigue in that the French and Belgian players know each other so well.

I don't expect either side to sit back and play negative.

"I'm pleased for him".

Otherwise, there was respect and admiration in equal measure.

"My role for the team is to create opportunities and to give passes that my forward teammates can use to make the difference, " he said. "They do it well, they do it fast".

In the quarterfinals, Belgium stunned Brazil on the back of an attack whose reputation was years in the making.

"He is lucky to be with a team with a fine generation of players". On the Telemundo side, matches will be available via Telemundo Deportes En Vivo and NBC Sports; the Telemundo stations' apps; and across mobile, tablet and most connected TV devices.

"With my brothers, we have always been more supporters of France than Belgium because we grew up with '98", Hazard said.

"England was one of the favourites for me for the tournament because they have a young and hungry team with no big, worldwide stars, so it won't be easy for us", he admitted. "There is a lot of respect between us".

France's defence wasn't really tested against Australia, Peru or Denmark.

Kevin De Bruyne and the aforementioned Kante sit in midfield.

But while he wants to follow in Henry's footsteps and make history by winning the trophy, he admits France will have to play the game of their lives against a star-studded Belgium team. "However, each player will do what it takes to win".

Fox Sport Asia: "This should be a very intriguing match-up given the depth of talent that these two teams have". We'll see at least a couple goals in this one, and maybe more.

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