NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman says today's match is being played against a political backdrop.
Sunday French paper Le Journal du Dimanche also devoted several pages to the friendship and rivalry between the two countries and attached an excerpt from an Asterix comic book showing a dispute between Belgian and Gallic chieftains. However, if 1998 champions France and 1966 winners England both win their semi-finals they'll be able to relax and enjoy the final with their return assured.
"They're a great defensive team and they can be defensive because they've got the quality up front to break any team down".
Jan Vertonghen has backed the Tottenham Hotspur contingent in England's squad to fire them past Croatia and into the World Cup final. When they were playing friendlies leading up to the World Cup, Gareth Southgate used a slightly different approach to the one he's using now.
Belgium play on Saturday against the loser of Wednesday's semi-final between Croatia and England in the third place playoff.
CROATIA is going nuts about their team's appearance in the World Cup semi-finals - but one group of fans had particular reason to celebrate during their penalty shootout win over Russian Federation.
England head coach Gareth Southgate has explicitly highlighted the importance of dead ball situations in the Three Lions' surprising success at this World Cup, as set-piece goals have helped England past Tunisia, Panama, Colombia and Sweden.
Pogba has often been accused of lacking the discipline to play in midfield but his United boss was effusive in his praise for the much-maligned midfielder.
President Emmanuel Macron, who attended Tuesday's match, plans to return to Russian Federation for the final with his wife Brigitte on Sunday, his office told AFP on Wednesday.
Deschamps, who captained France's only World Cup winning side in 1998, said the march to Sunday's final has been underpinned by a steely determination.
The most unpredictable and entertaining FIFA World Cup in recent memory wraps up this week, with just four matches left to be played.
"It's just a very strong team, but for me Mbappe is the best".
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