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Semi-Final - Tuesday 10th July - France 1-0 Belgium


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Both coaches are very criticized by the press, but the work they´ve done in this World Cup so far should be recognized.

Martínez´s changes won the match against Brazil. 

Meanwhile, DD is considered by many not good enough to coach this generation of french players, but I think he´s doing a fine work. He may be a "resultadista", but his tactics are often on point, the dressing room atmosphere seems to be good (which was not always the case before with France) and many of his decisions are being proven right, in special betting in Benjamin Pavard. Euro final and World Cup semi-final (at least) are very strong results.

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Ok. So I’m a bit more confident now than I had been. Belgium in open play look a real threat. Especially on the counter. We on the other hand, Mbappe goal aside, it’s a bit slow and methodical. I was certain the pragmatism of Brazil would nullify Belgium, but they were so incredibly open out wide, the wing Marcelo occupied was a constant avenue of opportunity for Belgium. 

All that said, even an unfit and injured Umtiti is quicker than Miranda. Varane has looked so much more assured as well. I still have reservations about the front line and if I go for a French win I’ll only be tempting fate. I’ll stick to my guns as previous rounds, calling a draw 

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I was surprised at France's victory over Uruguay to be honest because for me (before the match had been played obviously) Uruguay had something France didn't have... A way of playing where there was no negotiation and very difficult to beat.

Belgium have done very well, but for me France seem to always dig something out of the bag to beat football logic (football logic isn't individual names and the quality of its players).

Can't see Belgium overriding France's seeming destiny to play in this year's World Cup Final. Although it would be romantic to see Belgium's golden generation participate in the most important game football has to offer.

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I said this in the previous thread, and while scripts don't exist in football, this does have all the markings of Mbappe doing a Pele 1958 where he pretty much spearheaded his national team to World Cup victory in his teens still. Belgium are arguably the toughest opponent they will face all tournament. This one is really tought to predict though in a one off. I think the whole Belgium team has performed, while France there is a few I haven't been fond of. Griezmann bar the last game has been useless all tournament long. Umtiti has been OK. Pogba inconsistent as always, while the key performers have been Pavard, Kante and of course, Mbappe. The latter is really the only one you need in order to win games, as he's capable of doing it on his own. I still have questions on his teamwork, but with space he is absolutely lethal.

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On 2018-07-08 at 15:09, Harvsky said:

If Belgium win we might actually see some of their attacking players crack a smile. France must lose for science, this might be the cure for chronic facial miserabilism.

Pogba must be Belgian!   He's always looks as if he's sucking on a sour candy 😉

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On 7/8/2018 at 14:16, Blue said:

I said this in the previous thread, and while scripts don't exist in football, this does have all the markings of Mbappe doing a Pele 1958 where he pretty much spearheaded his national team to World Cup victory in his teens still. Belgium are arguably the toughest opponent they will face all tournament. This one is really tought to predict though in a one off. I think the whole Belgium team has performed, while France there is a few I haven't been fond of. Griezmann bar the last game has been useless all tournament long. Umtiti has been OK. Pogba inconsistent as always, while the key performers have been Pavard, Kante and of course, Mbappe. The latter is really the only one you need in order to win games, as he's capable of doing it on his own. I still have questions on his teamwork, but with space he is absolutely lethal.

Kante has been France's best player in this World Cup, although he won't get as many headlines because he isn't an attacking player. 

I think most of the football world knew about Mbappe, especially after his last year with Monaco and first with PSG, but now he's a household name along with Pavard and Kante. 

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Since 1990, the team that eliminated Brazil has go on to reach the final.

1990 - Argentina (lost the final)

2006 - France (lost the final)

2010 - Holland (lost the final)

2014 - Germany (won the final)

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I really hope Belgium progress today because I want to see a new WC Champion. The same goes for the other game where I want Croatia to go through as well. It really has been a weird world cup and for it to return to some sense of normalcy (countries that have already won it lifting the trophy) would be just as weird as all the teams that have been knocked out so far.

Edited by Mel81x
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On 09/07/2018 at 04:16, Blue said:

I said this in the previous thread, and while scripts don't exist in football, this does have all the markings of Mbappe doing a Pele 1958 where he pretty much spearheaded his national team to World Cup victory in his teens still. Belgium are arguably the toughest opponent they will face all tournament. This one is really tought to predict though in a one off. I think the whole Belgium team has performed, while France there is a few I haven't been fond of. Griezmann bar the last game has been useless all tournament long. Umtiti has been OK. Pogba inconsistent as always, while the key performers have been Pavard, Kante and of course, Mbappe. The latter is really the only one you need in order to win games, as he's capable of doing it on his own. I still have questions on his teamwork, but with space he is absolutely lethal.

With Belgium's attack and France's style of play I'd say Kante is more crucial to the result than Mbappe.

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Martínez mentioned, he´ll try to defend by keeping and taking care of the ball possession. He´s afraid of the french fast transition, specially with Mbappé. And we´ve seen in the Brazil match how Douglas Costa created trouble for Vertonghen. Chadli will have to track back and help Vertonghen deal with Mbappé. 

France doesn´t really mind not having the ball, so this kind of match plays to their strenght. Interesting duel.

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Fellaini is having a great tournament, but otherwise I don't like that Belgian midfield. I think their defenders and forwards are where its at. With Kante bound to dominate in that middle, it will be an interesting duel.

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