France grinds way to World Cup final, edges Belgium

Hugo Lloris expects Thierry Henry to have mixed emotions when France meet Belgium in Tuesday's World Cup semi-final

Hugo Lloris expects Thierry Henry to have mixed emotions when France meet Belgium in Tuesday's World Cup semi-final

France and Belgium are already very much intertwined because of geography, history and a similar culture.

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

"I'm pleased for him, he's someone I really appreciate", Deschamps said. Here is a quick reminder of the team news before we get started.

"I think after our game against Japan, we discussed and we talked with the coach; we concluded that if we played the same way against Brazil, we would lose the game".

Martinez bemoaned the goal his team conceded from a corner. I haven't seen this as a weakness.

France have reached the World Cup final for the first time since 2006 with a 1-0 win over Belgium in a sem-ifinal match that attracted presidents, royalty and a rock star.

"My disappointment is huge", said former Wigan and Everton boss Martinez.

England are in the last four of a major tournament for the first time since Euro '96, when Southgate himself missed a penalty in a shootout defeat against Germany.

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"It's essential to have a player like Kevin, that he can play different roles", Martinez said. The right-back is doubtful for the match but Benjamin Pavard has stepped up at this tournament and put in great shifts and even scoring one of the greatest goals in the tournament against Argentina.

Usually tournament awards are given to the players who are the most influential attackers or the leading goal scorer-and that's why the candidates we have been hearing until this point are Luka Modric, Eden Hazard and Harry Kane. "That's the quality that he has". They are trained by Didier Deschamps, who won the Cup in 1998 as a player and is now trying to do the same as a coach.

With Thomas Meunier suspended, Belgium shifted to a back four as Martinez selected Nacer Chadli on the right.

Eden Hazard pushing for an equaliser.

Belgian citizen Gregory Oleffe and Olivier Debregeas from France debate Tuesday's World Cup match between their two countries.

France have no such selection issues and are nearly certain to stick with Stuttgart's Benjamin Pavard at right back after a string of impressive displays from the 22-year-old have made him one of the tournament's stand-out defenders.

Lloris was strong when called upon in the second half, after Umtiti's header had tilted the scales in France's favor, and Les Bleus will go in search of their second title on Sunday in Moscow against either England or Croatia.

Robert Kidd, Forbes: "I backed Brazil to get the better of Belgium in the quarter-final and won't make the mistake of underestimating the Red Devils again".

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