World Cup 2018 | Belgium

World Cup 2018 | Belgium

It can be said France stumbled on to the brilliance of Kante by chance, and how lucky have they been! With Eden Hazard alongside him (though Dries Mertens hasn't shown his Napoli form) Belgium have a formidable forward line. We've never been in such a situation, and that's why we need our team spirit more than ever against France.

Les Bleus have as many as 15 players with African roots in their 23-man squad for the tournament in Russian Federation, and Didier Deschamps' side had at least five players who would have been eligible to represent African nations by birth or via their parents in each of their starting line-ups at this year's World Cup.

"This time, in an worldwide match, it is much higher".

"But he did know that, from the time he was joining the management team and becoming assistant to Martinez, that could happen".

"He's become a star in France but when I was playing against him for City against Monaco he'd only played 10 matches", he started.

"It might be a bit hard for him but he´s working for Belgium now, he wants us to win". These two historic nations were Les Bleus' opponents during the Round of 16 and the quarter-finals, respectively, but Didier Deschamps' men brushed them aside with relative ease.

Head-to-head the two countries have played seven games with England recording four wins, one draw and two losses.

Not particularly noticeable during games, Henry is rarely seen next to Martinez or his No 2 Graham Jones in the technical area.

He joined the Belgium setup in 2016 just after Martinez was appointed and reportedly set to work immediately with forwards Romelu Lukaku and Michy Batshuayi.

Croatia in their first ever participation in World Cup got to the semi-finals and eventually came third in the France 1998 edition and also seem poised to make history in Russian Federation.

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Back in Mexico 1986, Belgium got to the semifinals, but only after defeating the Soviet Union and Spain (the latter on penalties), two strong teams but with no World Cup titles between them by then. You have to wonder if Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic will consider the fact the Three Lions haven't produced many clear-cut scoring opportunities from the run of play.

Igor Mello's take: I'm predicting a third consecutive knockout game that pushes 120 minutes for Croatia.

Strangely, Henry was not Martinez's appointment. Rangnick was ultimately overlooked but his endorsement of Henry had stuck in the right people's minds and soon enough he was part of the supporting cast. Martinez has used his best passer in various roles. 'He has brought us something we didn't have.

England emerged Champions in the 1966 edition of the World Cup which they hosted and have played in only one semi-final appearance in 14 tournaments.

With the second-youngest roster at the World Cup, France has excelled and advanced to the World Cup semifinals for the first time since 2006.

"I would be very proud to show Thierry that he chose the wrong camp".

Belgium´s Kevin De Bruyne said Henry had talked little about his feelings.

On the French side, the attack is led by 19-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe and a pair of 22-year-old fullbacks, Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez, who love to attack on offense.

'But yes maybe he is going to sing La Marseillaise. "For him tomorrow it could be a bit hard, but he works for Belgium now, he wants us to win".

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