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Eden is more of a Hazard than Mbappe

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Belgium captain Eden Hazard is capable of turning the World Cup semifinal against France

Before you enter your 2018 World Cup picks for France vs. Belgium, you have to see what European football expert David Sumpter has to say.

With so many world-class players on display this World Cup semi-final should be an absolute classic - or it will end in a drab goalless draw with the winners reaching Sunday's final via a penalty shoot-out.

There will be plenty of exciting attacking talent on show when France face Belgium, which should make for an eventful encounter.

"For me Kylian Mbappe is the best player in the French selection", Vermaelen told reporters.

Deschamps is counting on defensive midfielder N'Golo Kante to help by breaking up Belgium's rapid attacks.

It feels faintly absurd to favourably compare a midfield diamond featuring Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli with France's but the goal of that set-up is to get the best from their more accomplished players.

Belgium offers multiple threats, including the speed and trickery of forward Eden Hazard and the strength and finishing of striker Romelu Lukaku, who has scored four goals in Russian Federation.

As quick as Chadli is, Belgium can't counter Mbappe with speed, they'll have to do it with good positional play and smart tactics.

'In Belgium we can't follow the path of a previous generation that's won the World Cup.

Thierry Henry was also part of that victorious France squad in 1998. 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.

"It is true it is a little peculiar to see him with the Belgium team", said Lloris. "I think his heart will be split tomorrow because before anything he remains French". He has lived through great moments in the blue jersey.

"He holds the record for goals scored and has the second most caps - he did leave a mark on the history of Les Bleus". This allowed De Bruyne to dominate the number ten zone (by dropping into it, rather than hover there, which is easier to mark) and Lukaku to arc into the centre-forward spaces left when De Bruyne vacated (and pulled centre-backs with him).

The Round of 16 saw the Red Devils pitted against Japan, in one of the matches of the tournament where Belgium came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in the last minute of injury time. 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.

Though a very different player from the elegant Frenchman, the powerfully built Lukaku showed a touch of Henry in his intelligent dummy that allowed the ball to run through to Nacer Chadli to score Belgium's victor in the thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 win over Japan in the last 16. Along with Eden Hazard's free role, this completely bamboozled Brazil - even causing Fernandinho, usually so dominant, to twist and turn helplessly.

"All the players think that our manager is a step ahead tactically, and I think that our hunger for victory will be greater than theirs".

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