Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Lukaku to strike gold for Belgium

World Cup Brazil coach calls for change to penalty shoot-out system Lukaku to strike gold for Belgium
Kristopher Love | 10 July, 2018, 02:12

Striker Olivier Giroud will keep his starting spot despite not registering a shot on target at this World Cup. "Everyone knows I can score with every chance provided to me in the box, but the individual doesn't count here".

Whatever the outcome of England's semi-final, the team will remain in Russian Federation at the very least until next Saturday when the Third Place Play-Off is contested - the final will be played on Sunday 15 July.

France have not reached the final of a World Cup since 2006 - when they lost on penalties to Italy.

No player has so far made more attempts on goal than Neymar (27) in Russian Federation, while no team has yet attacked more than the Brazilians (292 attacks) with their star player at the center of the Brazilians' attacking threat. The winners will move on to play for the World Cup, while the losers will have to settle for a third-place playoff. "We can't give him any space either, so it is going to take a collective effort".

Whoever makes it through today's last two games will be through to the semi-final matches, which will then follow next week. So in football a lot of things get magnified.

Brazil's Neymar had a chance to stamp his mark as soccer's next best player in Russian Federation, but he'll be remembered more for his theatrics at this World Cup. "What we did have to do from time to time was defend him from rival players who were trying to wind him up". Although Neymar must be infuriating to play alongside at times, he's always looking to get on the ball and make the difference for his team.

Leading up to Russian Federation 2018 the questions being asked revolved around the three players regarded as the best on the planet: Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar. Argentina was eliminated from World Cup contention in the first of the knockout rounds.

Belgium won 4-3 the last time they met France, in a friendly in Paris in 2015.