France vs Belgium: 3 players to watch out for in the semifinal of World Cup 2018

Brazil v Belgium: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Romelu Lukaku

32 teams started and now only four are left. Two of Europe's heavyweights will go head to head on 10th July for a spot in the final of FIFA World cup 2018. The other semi-final is between the dark horses of the tournament, Croatia and the three lions, England.

France defeated Uruguay in the quarterfinals with a scoreline of 2-0. Uruguay was the best team in terms of goals conceded (only one) before they were beaten by the French Team. On the other hand, Belgium dumped Brazil out of the World Cup which came as a shock for a few people.

Belgium and France will meet for the 74th time in all the competitions but only the very first time in the semifinals of a World cup. Saint Petersburg Stadium will host this extravaganza on 10th July.

Both the teams have an abundance of young talent in their ranks who performed superbly in this tournament. The average age of Belgium and France is 27 years and 26 years respectively.

Both the sides were a strong candidate to reach the semifinals of the tournament but the presence of the big teams like Germany and Brazil didn't allow them to have a high probability to win the World Cup but whichever side wins this game will be the favourite to win the tournament.

Belgium is No. 3 in the FIFA World Rankings and France is No. 7 but there isn't much to separate both the sides in this tournament. Many of the attacking players of both the teams would come in the top 10 of the World though they still have a bit to think about their defence.

#3 Romelu Lukaku

He has been the best player for Belgium in this World Cup (yes! Kevin is the second best), scoring 4 goals and is just two goals behind Harry Kane, who is leading the race for the Golden Boot.

His scintillating performance against Brazil proved that how good he is as a team player. Roberto Martinez's tactical switch forced him to play as the right-winger with Kevin De Bruyne operating as a false nine but his display should have shut the mouths of a lot of his doubters.

His assist to Kevin De Bruyne was astonishing; took the ball from the central midfield and dribbled it away from the players. Brazil was hardly able to contain the 25-year old as his pace and power proved too much for them.

#2 Kevin de Bruyne

Brazil v Belgium: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Kevin de Bruyne

Belgium's playmaker took his time to settle in Russia as he was used in a more defensive position that suits him. Martinez's opted to use him as a false 9 which came as a surprise but ended up being a masterstroke to dump Brazil out of the World cup.

Belgium's counter-attacks were driven by him with a choice to pass either to Eden Hazard on the left or to Romelu Lukaku on the right. His bullet shot from outside the box was extremely crucial as it proved to be the winner for Belgium.

Roberto Martinez has to make sure that he doesn't switch to his previous tactics where Kevin De Bruyne was deployed at a deeper position with Axel Witsel.

#1 Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe

The 19-year old youngster took everyone with surprise when he made his darting run against Argentina. No player from the South American side was able to catch him up as he single-handedly changed the course of the game. He was involved in three goals, scoring two and winning a penalty for one.

In this tournament, he has scored three goals and became the first teenager to score 3 goals in a World Cup since Pele netted six goals for Brazil in World Cup1958.

The PSG wonder kid has been one of the best players for France in this World Cup and the chances of his side to qualify for final very much depends on his outing against Belgium.

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Edited by Zeeshan Ali
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