Monday, 16 July, 2018

Thierry Henry can be difference against his own nation

Romelu Lukaku as scored four goals in four matches Romelu Lukaku as scored four goals in four matches
Kristopher Love | 10 July, 2018, 20:11

France and Belgium will meet in the 2018 FIFA World Cup semifinals later today in St. Petersburg, Russia, pitting the neighboring countries (the game is being billed as "La Fête des Voisins", or The Neighbors' Party) against each other for a chance to play for the title Sunday against the victor of Wednesday's England-Croatia matchup.

With Eden Hazard pulling the strings and Romelu Lukaku providing the firepower, Belgium have what it takes to beat France.

According to CBS Sports, France is the favorite of all four remaining teams to win the World Cup, with odds of 2-1, although Belgium isn't far off with odds of 11-4. Now he is an assistant to Belgium coach Roberto Martinez and the two of them will be plotting how to get the better of France tactically. With former France striker Thierry Henry as an assistant coach, Belgium leads the scoring in Russian Federation with 14 goals in its five World Cup matches.

"He is going to be on the bench facing his home nation but he always knew it could happen".

Somebody close to him said a couple of weeks ago that Henry was "enjoying it".

"He is first and foremost French".

For TV work, Henry "needed to be a bit incisive", he said.

I know wing-back Nacer Chadli, who is likely be to directly up against Mbappe, said he is as good as Lionel Messi was at his age, but I disagree. "Of course, it is a hard situation, it really is not easy for him", said Deschamps.

Hours away from what will be the most important game in his career and for the national team he now coaches, a semifinal clash against France in Saint Petersburg, Martinez looks affable, relaxed and confident. Both sides will consider this a massive opportunity to win their respective first and second World Cup trophies. Victory against France - a team against whom they have historically, and somewhat surprisingly, enjoyed an upper hand; of their 73 games Belgium have won 30 to France's 24 - will only add to their growing legend. Brazil, Uruguay, Russia, and Sweden were all sent packing in the quarter-finals.

France are seeking their first World Cup final since their defeat to Italy in 2006. Croatia's Round of 16 tie also went to penalties.

"It might be a bit hard for him but he's working for Belgium now, he wants us to win".

Eden Hazard completed 10 dribbles against the Selecao, the most by a player since 1966.

We take a look at the prospects of both sides as they chase the dream that consumes every single footballer in the world - playing in a World Cup final.

"We don't want to have them taking the mickey out of us".

Croatia, who have matched the achievements of their 1998 team in reaching the last four, can count on Real Madrid's midfield talisman Luka Modric but his teammate Andrej Kramaric says England's lack of superstars is what makes them a cohesive unit.

Captain Harry Kane is leading England´s charge with six goals so far, putting him top in the race for the Golden Boot.

They will also have the likes of Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann. If the Scandinavians had a hard time winning aerial duels against England, willl Croatia fare that much better? "Individual skills and talent are important, but in these tournaments, it's absolutely necessary to play as a team".

France have one of the best squads in World football.

Croatia could well be battling fatigue and injuries after a strength-sapping penalty shootout to edge out host nation Russian Federation on Saturday.