Day 25: France vs. Belgium SF

squiggle

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I'm reminded of the end of Asterix in Belgium where Caesar rants that he doesn't know whether the French or the Belgians are the bravest of the Gauls; he just knows they're all equally crazy.

I'd go with France as more likely to win, though (and Belgium to win the third place play-off).
 

Rafaeldagold

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Kind of hope France win as if we win too then France v England would be such an amazing World Cup final. Although Belgium v Croatia would be an interesting final too if it all goes wrong! First time winner would be cool.
 

Foxtrot

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It must be really weird and confusing for Henry. Would he celebrate if France scores/win? :lol:
 

Mb194dc

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Wondering if Giroud will start ? Hasn't done much so far this world cup other than the occasional good touch.

Playing Mbappe through the middle, and Dembele and Griezmann wide would seem to make more sense.

France should go through, but it will be tight and Deschamps needs to get his tactics and subs spot on.
 

maniwin

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expect Fellaini to score the winner and still not good enough for United according to CAF
 

RedSky

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No idea who will win this tbh. France perhaps has the edge as their midfield is more athletic, Belgium have perhaps slightly more firepower. France has kept more clean sheets but Belgium has scored more...

Could see this going all the way to penalties.
 

Hernandez - BFA

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Belgium's defence is there to be attacked, as seen against Brazil. But I just think Belgium look far too threatening and will score more.

Second half goal fest after a single goal in first half.

Wondering if Giroud will start ? Hasn't done much so far this world cup other than the occasional good touch.

Playing Mbappe through the middle, and Dembele and Griezmann wide would seem to make more sense.

France should go through, but it will be tight and Deschamps needs to get his tactics and subs spot on.
Deschamps said that Giroud will start.
 

Lennon7

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expect Fellaini to score the winner and still not good enough for United according to CAF
What you still think he is? He’s a great squad player and does a job, but you’re kidding yourself if you think he’s the level we should be at in midfield.

I’m glad he’s staying, mind. It’s just obvious we need a more creative player in the midfield alongside Pogba and either Fred/Matic. Anyway I’m derailing the thread :lol:
 

Adam-Utd

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1 of those games that'll either be really cautious and techy, or an absolute barnstormer.

I have a feeling it'll be the latter. :drool:

Im going for a 2-2 draw with France winning on pens.
 

Mani

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Expecting France to win this encounter, this will be tough match between these two balanced teams.I think midfeild battle would go to France,defense look even where as Belgium attack looks threatening compared it to France.
 

Levo

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Meunier is a big miss I feel. Belgium struggle for natural wingbacks as it is, having neither on each flank could cause problems.
 

doodle

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Why are both semi finals not played on the same day? One team will have 1 extra day rest than the other in the final.
 

Offside

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I’m confused that the BBC are saying this is the first meeting of bordering nations at the World Cup since 1986. Spain played Portugal and Morocco in the group stages and have borders with both countries. Then the USA played Mexico at the World Cup not too long ago.
 

hellhunter

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I’m confused that the BBC are saying this is the first meeting of bordering nations at the World Cup since 1986. Spain played Portugal and Morocco in the group stages and have borders with both countries. Then the USA played Mexico at the World Cup not too long ago.
Nevermind France vs Italy in the 2006 final.
 

CassiusClaymore

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I’m confused that the BBC are saying this is the first meeting of bordering nations at the World Cup since 1986. Spain played Portugal and Morocco in the group stages and have borders with both countries. Then the USA played Mexico at the World Cup not too long ago.
Yeah they're talking out of their arse. Fairly sure Holland and Germany played in 1990 too.
 

JPRouve

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I’m confused that the BBC are saying this is the first meeting of bordering nations at the World Cup since 1986. Spain played Portugal and Morocco in the group stages and have borders with both countries. Then the USA played Mexico at the World Cup not too long ago.
The only countries that France hasn't played in the WC since 86 are Luxembourg, Belgium, Monaco and Andorra.
 

Trizy

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It's so hard to call but on paper France edges it. But in current form would you say Belgium? France have been far from the world beaters I thought myself they would be. They have looked either lazy or sloppy in previous games.

Hazard and KDB have hit good form at the right time but you could say the same for Griezmann and Pogba.

I'll be cheering for Belgium and Croatia as a neutral and we'll see a first time winner should those two reach the finals. Wouldn't be too upset to see France win it either, especially for Pogba.
 

JPRouve

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It's so hard to call but on paper France edges it. But in current form would you say Belgium? France have been far from the world beaters I thought myself they would be. They have looked either lazy or sloppy in previous games.

Hazard and KDB have hit good form at the right time but you could say the same for Griezmann and Pogba.

I'll be cheering for Belgium and Croatia as a neutral and we'll see a first time winner should those two reach the finals. Wouldn't be too upset to see France win it either, especially for Pogba.
I find this fairly surprising. For me France only have 3 players that are superior to their counterpart, Griezmann, Varane and Kanté.
 

gerdm07

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France 3-2. Pogba has been getting better and better with each match and I think there is a good chance he is the best player in both the semi and final and then wins the Golden Ball. He is that talented and when he wants to play his best it is almost impossible to stop him.
 

roonster09

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I find this fairly surprising. For me France only have 3 players that are superior to their counterpart, Griezmann, Varane and Kanté.
Belgium don't have any wingbacks now, with Meunier getting suspended. Whoever France will play as fullbacks are better than whoever Belgium will field today.
 

JPRouve

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Belgium don't have any wingbacks now, with Meunier getting suspended. Whoever France will play as fullbacks are better than whoever Belgium will field today.
They have a different system, Hernandez isn't better than belgian CBs and Pavard-Chadli aren't far from each others, if it's Carrasco then you are right.
 

roonster09

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They have a different system, Hernandez isn't better than belgian CBs and Pavard-Chadli aren't far from each others, if it's Carrasco then you are right.
But Hernandez plays as LB where he is better than Carrasco or Chadli, same with Pavard vs whoever will start today.

Also Fellaini will start for Belgium, Pogba is obviously better than Fellaini.
 

marlowe78

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I have a feeling that it's going to be a classic match that will be talked about for many, many years.

Maybe I shouldn't have said that? :nervous:

Anyway, I have been somewhat more impressed with Belgium's play than France's. France have been very good but that front 3 of Belgium look so explosive at times, I think France's defence will have their hands full. France's attack have the quality to be just as good but I've felt for some time that Deschamp's game plan holds them back to an extent.

I am also partial to Belgium because of the team's makeup. It's a team that can play at a high level of skill and also battle and impose themselves physically, like they did at times against Brazil. There is always a place for the physical elements of the sport AFAIC.

I see goals in this. I'm going 3-2 for France but could very easily be the other way. Unfortunately it can't be a draw. I'll be delighted for whomever wins and sad for the loser.
 

Red Pavan

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I don't understand why Hazard is the captain of Belgium over the likes of Kompany, Vertonghen or Fellaini/Lukaku?
 

JPRouve

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But Hernandez plays as LB where he is better than Carrasco or Chadli, same with Pavard vs whoever will start today.

Also Fellaini will start for Belgium, Pogba is obviously better than Fellaini.
Lets do it this way:

Giroud is inferior to Lukaku
Mbappé is inferior to Hazard
Lloris is inferior to Courtois
Varane is superior to all Belgian CBs
Umtiti is currently equal or inferior to all belgian CBs
Hernandez is inferior or equal to Vertonghen
Kanté is superior to Dembélé
Pogba is superior to Fellaini
Chadli has a WB is equal to both french FBs.

Surely you agree with that?

Edit: I forgot, De Bruyne is superior to Griezmann.
 

roonster09

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Lets do it this way:

Giroud is inferior to Lukaku
Mbappé is inferior to Hazard
Lloris is inferior to Courtois
Varane is superior to all Belgian CBs
Umtiti is currently equal or inferior to all belgian CBs
Hernandez is inferior or equal to Vertonghen
Kanté is superior to Dembélé
Pogba is superior to Fellaini
Chadli has a WB is equal to both french FBs.

Surely you agree with that?

Edit: I forgot, De Bruyne is superior to Griezmann.
Yeah but Chadli isn't equal to French FBs, he isn't even a wing back, just shoehorned to make it work.

Also if we go by positions, Belgium don't have a RWB now with Meuiner not playing, so Pavard is better than whoever plays there.

Same with hernandez, he shouldn't be compared to Vertonghen, unless Vertonghen plays as LWB this game in which case yes he is better.
 

JPRouve

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Yeah but Chadli isn't equal to French FBs, he isn't even a wing back, just shoehorned to make it work.

Also if we go by positions, Belgium don't have a RWB now with Meuiner not playing, so Pavard is better than whoever plays there.

Same with hernandez, he shouldn't be compared to Vertonghen, unless he plays as LWB this game in which case yes he is better.
But conversely, Vertonghen is a better CB. You are using the french system to judge belgian players but don't do the same for french players.
 

roonster09

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But conversely, Vertonghen is a better CB. You are using the french system to judge belgian players but don't do the same for french players.
Yeah, that's why I said compare players by position rather than 11 vs 11.

Compare CB vs CB, FB Vs Wingback
DM vs DM
CM Vs CM
Winger Vs Winger
ST Vs ST

1 player will miss out as France don't play with extra CB and Belgium don't play with extra midfielder.

Edit: Anyways they are very evenly matched teams, think France have better balance and Belgium have players at their peak like Hazard and KdB who can change game in any moment.
 

Sarni

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Kind of hope France win as if we win too then France v England would be such an amazing World Cup final. Although Belgium v Croatia would be an interesting final too if it all goes wrong! First time winner would be cool.
France v England and Belgium v Croatia final sounds so right. Two big, football crazy nations who have had so many great players over decades fighting it out for their first trophy in ages (20 years for France, 52 for England), and two small nations playing it out for historical success (I know Croatia were 3rd in 1998 but still).

That said I'm hoping Belgium win today. Belgium in the final would be amazing.
 

MuseJoris

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Why are both semi finals not played on the same day? One team will have 1 extra day rest than the other in the final.
This is just because the teams on this side had a day less rest before after group stages. For example group winner Belgium had a day less rest then England after group stage. It's the other way around now. Guesse it's so everybody can see both games :)