Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

France say Thierry Henry in ‘wrong camp’ for World Cup semi

France say Thierry Henry in ‘wrong camp’ for World Cup semi France say Thierry Henry in ‘wrong camp’ for World Cup semi
Shannon Reynolds | 10 July, 2018, 19:13

It's not yet clear what role Kevin De Bruyne will play for Belgium in the World Cup semifinal against France. The Spurs centre-back popped up with a crucial goal to bring his side back into the match, which they went on to dramatically win, while his versatility was also key in ousting Brazil as he slotted in at left-back.

Both sides will be on cloud nine after their previous victories, so this one is poised to be a clash of epic proportions.

France did raise a number of questions during the group phase of the competition over whether they were going to be able to live up to the significant hype surrounding their star studded squad.

"There will be players who will have their club team-mates on the opposite side", France coach Didier Deschamps said at the pre-match press conference on Monday.

In possession, Belgium stuck to their classic 3-4-2-1 system, however, the formation was subjected to minor tweaks. Kylian Mbappe stole the show, scoring twice in a breath taking display. His goal against Argentina, in the 4-3 win that marked the moment France truly arrived at World Cup 2018, is one of the strongest contenders in an exceptional "Goal of the Tournament" field and he has a notable record to try and maintain. His standout performance against Uruguay, which amounted to a monumental defensive effort from the French which earned him his spot here, earning 66.5 points in their quarter-final win and a consistent performer before that.

In typical Martinez style, Belgium's ultra-fluid attacking lines make them wide-open defensively, a situation that isn't helped by the presence of Alex Witsel at the base of midfield and Vincent Kompany in defence. That was the last competitive match between the two countries but there have been eight global friendlies since.

Dominic Raab is the new Brexit secretary
The Sun, Britain's biggest-selling newspaper, said there had been "blunder after blunder" by May. He said many MPs saw Mr Johnson's resignation as a "selfish act".

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That match was during the World Cup in Mexico and was a third place playoff after both sides had been knocked out at the Semi-Final stage. France were defeated by West Germany whilst Belgium fell victim to the brilliance of Diego Maradona and Argentina. Jan Ceulemans opened the scoring for Belgium 11 minutes in, before France levelled with a strike from Jean-Marc Ferreri.

Belgium's 27-year-old skipper is far more unpredictable.

Kevin De Bruyne even admitted that the Belgium team "would find it normal" ahead of the biggest game in the country's history, to hear their coach singing La Marseillaise in St Petersburg.

Sports Illustrated: "Calling this one is immensely hard". Both sides are coming off of impressive quarter-final performances and there is a sense that the victor of the tournament will probably come from this tie.

France midfielder Blaise Matuidi is available for selection after missing the victory against Uruguay because of suspension. For France, Kylian Mbappe can score in a blink and already introduced himself this tournament as one of the world's top scorers. All yellow cards are wiped out after the quarter-final to ensure no player is suspended in the final should he be booked in the semis. Chelsea's poster boy has taken on the mantle of the captain in fine fashion by being simply unplayable at times and will be The Red Devils' danger man on Tuesday. The interview is off to a good start: There's probably no better way to greet him.

It's going to be a thrilling match no doubt and don't be surprised if this one ends up going the full distance.

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