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How to Watch France vs Belgium

10 Juillet 2018

Belgium, on the other hand, are trying to make history. It took several years and attempts for Belgium's golden generation to show that they are ready to finally take that leap forward, and this coaching team has a lot to do with their current success.

The teams have met 73 times before with Belgium winning on 30 occasions, France 24, and 19 matches drawn. "It is true that it is unusual to have him against us for this match".

"Nobody is out, even though we rested some of our players as a precautionary measure".

"We will need to anticipate him and be well-positioned".

Deschamps had appeared cautious to allow players such as Mbappe free rein early on in Russian Federation, but there is the growing feeling that he is now offering more attacking licence to a team so rich in talent going forward. Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba, team-mates at Manchester United, would be coming face-to-face.

Belgium has height and heading ability in defenders Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen and Marouane Fellaini.

Mbappe was lethal in France's 4-3 Round of 16 win over Argentina, using his pace to devastating effect, but Martinez said his side would not make the mistake of focusing exclusively on one player.

Belgium threw everything they could muster at the French but were unable to really test Lloris, aside from one speculative long range effort from Axel Witsel.

Coach Didier Deschamps, who was captain when France won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship, has instilled a steely mentality. "However, during the match, there will be no friendship". Belgium, meanwhile, required a comeback from 2-0 down vs. Japan to reach the last eight, where it then held on to defeat Brazil and reach the semis for the first time since 1986. "It's not the Thierry Henry show; I am here to help the squad". It also gives Antoine Griezmann space to roam. There isn't a philosophy to the French play, their style of play derived from the personnel they have. He is an obvious, natural role model for any forward, and the ideal one for, say, a precious, strong pacey striker who, like him, was born on the outskirts of Paris, and, like him, served his apprenticeship at Monaco and, like him, scored crucial goals to galvanise a World Cup campaign.

Roberto Martinez came out and spoke about the belief coursing through the team's veins in the aftermath of the victory over the five-time champions. He is more proactive than reactive.

However, their backline will face its biggest test yet against a Belgian team that are top scorers at Russian Federation 2018 with 14 goals in their five games, with the strikes coming from nine different players - a record in diversity shared with the French team of 1982 and Italian side of 2006.

Deschamps also took a jibe at Martinez. "He changed things, put his own mark and has great potential and I congratulate him at being here".

Henry had little previous coaching experience and the president said he had "probably chosen the right solution" by taking the job of an assistant. "They do it well, they do it fast". They defend well. They know how to attack well. "They are a fantastic team".

Here's how you can watch the match, plus odds and more. But we will be ready because we have an extremely good state of mind, and it is the semi-finals in the World Cup. Samuel Umtiti, who anchors Les Bleus's back line, will be key in managing the pace and thwarting Belgian advances.

How to Watch France vs Belgium