Key battles to lookout for when France face Belgium in the semifinal in the 2018 World Cup

Key battles to lookout for when France face Belgium in the semifinal in the 2018 World Cup

by Sajeesh Soman / 5 months ago

Key battles to lookout for when France face Belgium in the semifinal in the 2018 World Cup:

  1. Benjamin Pavard vs Eden Hazard:

After his stunning goal against Argentina, Benjamin Pavard has received a lot of plaudits for his contribution both in the attack and defense. That being said, his game against Belgium(13/5 to win the World Cup) will have to be much balanced as he may have to focus more on the defending part against Eden Hazard. The Chelsea winger has been a delight to watch in the tournament with his wonderful take ons and dribbling abilities. He was highly influential in Belgium’s victory against Brazil and Pavard will have to be spot on in marking the Belgian winger to prevent any significant damage.

  1. MarouaneFellainivs Paul Pogba:

Both Manchester United teammates wouldn’t have expected to go against each other at this stage of the tournament but it is happening. Fellaini was brilliant against Brazil involved in both defending and attacking and most importantly giving Kevin De Bruyne the freedom to stay forward. Paul Pogba has been very influential for France so far alongside NgoloKante and given both Fellaini and Pogbaare aware of each other’s game style, it will be a classic encounter to watch.

  1. Vincent Kompanyvs Antoine Griezmann:

Belgium will be delighted to have Vincent Kompany back in the defense and the Manchester City captain was effective immediately as he had a big part to play in the opening goal against Brazil. He is always a threat in set-pieces but his major role in the semifinals would be to make sure Antoine Griezmann is not allowed to enjoy in front of the Belgium goal. The Atletico Madrid striker was very good against Uruguay and he will be looking to build on that when France face Belgium in the semis. It will be a tight battle but an important one given the seriousness of the fixture.

  1. Raphael VaranevsRomeluLukaku:

This is possibly the most interesting battle to watch out for. RomeluLukaku has been in excellent formin the World Cup so far. He was very impressive against Brazil and there is no doubt he will be going full-fledged against France (2/1 to win the World Cup)and it will not be easy to contain him. Varane hasn’t had a bad World Cup either but he will have to be at his very best if he is to contain Lukaku. Lukaku’s strength and clinical finishing will come in very handy against France and both Varane and Umtiti have to be on their toes to restrict Lukaku from doing any sort of damage in front of the goal.

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