France v Belgium: Mbappe misses training but Deschamps eases fears

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Who will come out on top?

France legend Thierry Henry, who was part of the France '98 team that lifted the trophy and the Germany 2006 team that lost to Italy in the final, will be on the Belgium bench. The match kicks-off at 20:00 hrs (BST) at Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg. Cunha disallowed a goal by Iran's Saeid Ezatolahi after an assistant referee and the video assistant signaled the player was offside.

Belgium also have a fearsome attack and go into the game with real confidence after knocking out favourites Brazil in the quarter-finals. For nearly all of his two years in charge, he has operated with a back three and it looked like the returning Vincent Kompany would slot in between Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. France then took the lead on the brink of half time through Jean-Pierre Papin.

Gareth Southgate's men will nearly certainly have to work harder against Croatia than they have done so far in the tournament, but their momentum will take some stopping.

As Argentina showed, France can be susceptible defensively.

Coach Didier Deschamps, who was captain when France won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship, has instilled a steely mentality. He needs one goal to move ahead of France great Zinedine Zidane.

For me, there is no doubt as to which one will be the bigger hazard to opposing defences. The FC Barcelona centre-back has a knee injury, and his availability will depend on a fitness test closer to kick-off.

Belgium XI: Thibaut Courtois, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Nace Chadli, Kevin De Bruyne, Axel Witsel, Yannick Carrasco, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard.

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"We have a lot of respect for what he's done, but we're not going to think about very much". Will Belgium be up to the challenge?

Head to Head - the Belgians have the better record, having won 30 to the French's 24 and 19 games ending in a draw.

England are the surprise package at this World Cup and they take on Croatia in Wednesday's second semi-final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and Whelan fancies them to win too.

Friends and foes at the same time?

England is gripped by World Cup fever. But there haven't been one or two secrets to make it work, it's been common sense. In fact, four of Belgium's five games have witnessed over 2.5 goals scored. Lukaku is on four goals and Griezmann and Mbappe have three each.

Both sides know what is like to turn results around during the current World Cup campaign. The last time the two were involved in a Manchester derby, Pogba inspired a scintillating United comeback for a 3-2 victory. Both matches happened during the Round of 16. "We need to be the best version of ourselves". One where the stakes will be extremely high between two attacking-minded sides.

I think the Red Devils can do that via cutting out his running lines by denying him space in the channels and also by choking the supply of passes to him. But this is a hard situation, it is not easy for him'.

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