Semi-Finals 1: France v Belgium, 10th July, 7pm(GMT)

JJ1532

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I know we laugh and joke about how England's path to the final has been cleared, but if you are France, are you not feeling even more fortunate and thinking "our path to WINNING the final has been cleared"? What's French for "It's coming home"? ;)

Maybe they still haven't totally wowed neutrals(although I think their display against Argentina showed them at full tilt), but they've still shown they have more than enough quality to beat anyone put infront of them. Matuidi will be back, which reunites their imposing midfield trio. I think we are looking at the tournament winners, not saying much given they are now in the semi-finals mind.

Still, Belgium are no mugs and are here on merit, deservedly knocking out Brazil. Has Martinez found a system that can beat the big teams by playing a trio of De Bruyne, Hazard and Lukaku as a front 3, with Fellaini and Witsel infront of the back 3.

Wonder what Agent Henry is thinking as well? He's as French as they come, he can't truly deeply want Belgium to win right?

So, are France going to march on towards a 2nd World Cup final? Or can Belgium pull off another huge shock and make their first final ever?
 
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SALTIRE

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France 4 - 3 Belgium, in the real final before turning up to collect the trophy on the Sunday.
 

AnimoEtFide

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I know we laugh and joke about how England's path to the final has been cleared, but if you are France, are you not feeling even more fortunate and thinking "our path to WINNING the final has been cleared"? What's French for "It's coming home"?;)

I dunno, but half the population of Belgium could tell you :P1:

Should be a cracking game this. Really evenly balanced. However, after beating 'favourites' Brazil and that comeback against Japan I can't help but feel there's real momentum with Belgium.
 

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What's French for "It's coming home"? ;)
We don't say that. Probably because we didn't invent football.

I dunno, but half the population of Belgium could tell you :P1:

Should be a cracking game this. Really evenly balanced. However, after beating 'favourites' Brazil and that comeback against Japan I can't help but feel there's real momentum with Belgium.
Sadly, I agree. Like I said in the England thread, I have more doubts on us progressing than England.

Would be quite funny to have Belgium meet England again in the final. That way I could brag to everyone that I went to see them. Just not the right one...
 

Abertawe

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Pavard has a terrible night is my reckoning.
 

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A big night for whoever replaces Meunier on the right side because you know Mbappe will be directly target him. Think KDB will have a bad night with Kante and Matuidi on him which means a lot will depend on Hazard. Personally I think France have too much for Belgium. They looked out on their feet towards the end of the Brazil game and I just can’t see France missing the chances Brazil did.
 

mistermagic

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A big night for whoever replaces Meunier on the right side because you know Mbappe will be directly target him. Think KDB will have a bad night with Kante and Matuidi on him which means a lot will depend on Hazard. Personally I think France have too much for Belgium. They looked out on their feet towards the end of the Brazil game and I just can’t see France missing the chances Brazil did.
Don't see Deschamps switching Mbappé to the left just because Meunier isn't playing.
 

Jockney

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I know we laugh and joke about how England's path to the final has been cleared, but if you are France, are you not feeling even more fortunate and thinking "our path to WINNING the final has been cleared"? What's French for "It's coming home"? ;)

Maybe they still haven't totally wowed neutrals(although I think their display against Argentina showed them at full tilt), but they've still shown they have more than enough quality to beat anyone put infront of them. Matuidi will be back, which reunites their imposing midfield trio. I think we are looking at the tournament winners, not saying much given they are now in the semi-finals mind.

Still, Belgium are no mugs and are here on merit, deservedly knocking out Brazil. Has Martinez found a system that can beat the big teams by playing a trio of De Bruyne, Hazard and Lukaku as a front 3, with Fellaini and Witsel infront of the back 3.

Wonder what Agent Henry is thinking as well? He's as French as they come, he can't truly deeply want Belgium to win right?

So, are France going to march on towards a 2nd World Cup final? Or can Belgium pull off another huge shock and make their first final ever?
Nitpick, but it'd be France's third World Cup final if they beat Belgium!
 

Dirk

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France vs Belgium. This is a cracker.
I like both countries, visited the one often (France) and worked in the other for some time as an engineer.

So I am really split here. France was, besides Spain, my top favourite before the tournament. But if I had now to choose between them I would take Belgium.

They never were in a World Cup final before (only in an Euro final) and it would be nice to have a country with only 11 million people (approx) in the final with a chance to win it (and maybe even 4 million people Croatia in the other semi-final) and to put an end in the "only countries with more than 30million people could win the World Cup after 1950 debate" here in the forum ;)

Nah, seriously: I really would like to see Belgium win this one (hope you don't mind, mm. I love France as country nonetheless ;) )
 

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Benji

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I'm excited for this game. We know how Belgium have performed defensively against the likes of Brazil and Wales, but there's no denying that France have the potential to attack at a unique tempo.
Lukaku was excellent against Brazil, a good argument against the claim that he doesn't turn up for big matches. And if Martinez is going to play a similar attacking three (finally including an offensively positioned De Bruyne), then there should be a really good to and fro.

Not sure who I'd prefer to see in the final. Both have shown glimpses of excellence, as well as periods of low quality possession. Just hoping to see both at their best really.
 

Abertawe

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Belgium so I can attempt to argue the swans more or less won the world cup.
 

Gassy

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Looking forward to this - expecting an end to end game much like the Spain Vs Portugal game at the beginning

Most of the time I've always had a preferred team to win a game as well, I really don't mind here so I think that'll make it more enjoyable too
 

Abertawe

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I think if England get to the final they stand a better chance against France because as we know the French are mental midgets. Still backing my boys Belgium but from an England perspective will be cheering on allez les bleus
 

Gassy

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I think if England get to the final they stand a better chance against France because as we know the French are mental midgets. Still backing my boys Belgium but from an England perspective will be cheering on allez les bleus
Interesting you see it that way, I don't think we stand much of a chance against either team tbh.

Belgium certainly seem to be the more assured of the whole competition though
 

valefan16

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Interesting you see it that way, I don't think we stand much of a chance against either team tbh.

Belgium certainly seem to be the more assured of the whole competition though

I don't know, if we get the final (big IF still) we could score goals against either side as neither have been defensively superb. What would win or lose the game for us is how we cope with their attack. I assume in the final regardless of opponent we will sit back and play on the break.

Belgium are very beatable... England wouldn't let them get away with it like Japan for example, France have form... Portugal without their steller man for most of the game won in 2016.

Would be tough, think i'd rather face Belgium than France... couldn't have the thought of losing the Final to the French.
 

Abertawe

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Nah Belgium would destroy England. I'll legit raid the bank for a Belgium win & over 3.5 goals if that's the final. France can be subdued and Walker will sit on Mbappe - they could nick a result but Belgium would & will kill em.
 

WilsdenBantam

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Two mediocre sides who will only be there to make up the numbers in the final, would rather France as I have bet on them to get to the final.

It's coming home!
 

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I think if England get to the final they stand a better chance against France because as we know the French are mental midgets. Still backing my boys Belgium but from an England perspective will be cheering on allez les bleus


Mental midgets :lol: mistermagic
 

Pagnell

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If we go on the presumption that we will make the final (not guaranteed in any way obviously but I'd have use down as favourites against Croatia, just) then who would I prefer from these two. Difficult to say. Probably Belgium.

Tight game tonight, with France just taking it, hopefully in extra time.

2-1
 

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I'd rather play France, they play like Man United with their slow build up and they could easily decide to not turn up like the last final. Belgium have got huge momentum. Coming back from 2-0 down and then beating one of the favourites in the last match. If Belgium turn up then they'll be too much for France IMO.
 

Pagnell

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KDB is Belgium's most important player, more so tha Hazard. If he has an off game France will win.
 

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I may live to regret this but fuck it - France are massively overrated - Belgium by schooling.
 

JJ1532

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Belgium been superb so far, dominating this one. You can tell France are scared of the Belgian front 3 and rightly so.
 

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They have to make the most of this period of dominance as France will surely get the upper hand at some point.
 

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Belgium look bloody good here.
 

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