France v Belgium: Mbappe misses training but Deschamps eases fears

Henry at a Belgium training session. Image PA

Henry at a Belgium training session. Image PA

Their comeback win over Japan in the Round of 16 was stirring before narrowly beating Brazil in the quarter-finals.

Belgium´s confidence will be high after knocked out Neymar´s Brazil in the quarter-finals and they are the only team to have won all their matches in Russian Federation, top-scoring with 14 goals.

- Why has World Cup been full of surprises? These are encouraging signs for Didier Deschamps in defence. The rest of the side needs no changing anyway, with the forward line, comprising of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud, starting to get in its stride.

Deschamps is counting on defensive midfielder N'Golo Kante to help by breaking up Belgium's rapid attacks.

Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli hail from Morocco, Mousa Dembele has a Malian father, and Axel Witsel was born to a French Caribbean father.

Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez have grown as the tournament has worn on, but the real heroes have been Raphael Varane and Sam Umtiti.

There are no injury concerns for Belgium but Thomas Meunier will be missing the game.

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Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, and Jesse Lingard rotated possession neatly in the Sweden half, cleverly sucking the opposition to one side of the pitch before quickly switching the play for one of the wing-backs to dart into space and cross. The West Bromwich Albion man will look to be influential once again with his marauding runs down the right flank.

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The back-three of Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany and Toby Alderweireld were at their most impressive thus far against Brazil.

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Hazard and Mbappe have performed wonders for Belgium and France, respectively. The Red Devils have won 30 games while France have managed to end up on the winning side just 24 times.

The last time when both France and Belgium reached the FIFA World Cup semi-final in the same edition was in 1986.

While there is a clear contrast in styles of the two sides, France and Belgium lock horns in a potential World Cup classic.

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Henry's old worldwide colleague Didier Deschamps has not won over everybody in his time as France coach, as he continues to favour a cautious approach despite being able to call on some of the finest attacking talents in world football. The game can be streamed online by visiting Fox's World Cup Hub.

While, Martinez isn't expected to mirror the entirety of his masterplan against France, this newfound setup is the flawless marriage between Belgium's high-flying offensive interplay and resoluteness at the back with the Alderweireld-Kompany-Vertonghen trio coming to the fore against one of the tournament's most potent attacking threats in Brazil.

But their secret weapon could be on the sidelines in the shape of one of France´s greatest players of all time, Thierry Henry, who is now head coach Roberto Martinez´s assistant.

France looked defensively solid in the 2-0 victory over Uruguay. With the "Fubo Premier" bundle, you will get access to all four of the World Cup soccer TV channels in most markets.

The game kicks off at 2 p.m. EST. Belgium is the highest-ranked team left in the competition, sitting at number three in the world, with France at number seven.

With Eden Hazard pulling the strings and Romelu Lukaku providing the firepower, Belgium have what it takes to beat France.

The Red Devils have also shown that, unlike their last two major global tournaments, the big matches do not faze them.

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