Eden is more of a Hazard than Mbappe

Giroud in action for France. Image PA

Giroud in action for France. Image PA

After a two-day hiatus the World Cup is back once again and the identity of the first finalist will be revealed on Tuesday.

Their early struggles had "Les Bleus" being written off in some quarters, but all that changed when they faced Argentina in the last 16 in what must be a leading contender for the most exciting match of the tournament.

They last met in a friendly in 2015 and a number of Belgian and French players are team mates at club level. The South Americans were supposed to provide a much sterner test than Argentina had done in the previous round, but failed to threaten France throughout the 90 minutes as Les Bleus showed the kind of tactical discipline that in the past has often separated World Cup winners from the rest. Not only they are set to take on one of the top European sides at the moment, but this will also be their tougher opponent in quite a while.

France looked defensively solid in the 2-0 victory over Uruguay.

"I think England will win it because I've watched Croatia closely since the start - once they won their first mach I was thinking to myself "this is a really, really good team".

Pay-TV outlet BeIN Sport is also showing the game in France. Deschamps will recover Blaise Matuidi, who missed the quarterfinals game vs Uruguay due to a suspension. It's going to be a thrilling match no doubt and don't be surprised if this one ends up going the full distance.

A significant feature of Belgium's tactics in the quarter finals was the wide role Hazard played.

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"The players have been working together extraordinarily well for many years, and they deserve to be exactly where they are today", Martinez told ESPN FC. Lukaku controlled a clearance and launched a counter that saw him pass Fernandinho easily before laying the ball off for Kevin De Bruyne, who scored Belgium's second. Will Belgium be up to the challenge?

"We know all these players so well".

Chadli will replace Meunier as the right wing-back with Carrasco playing as the left wing-back.

Friends and foes at the same time? Kante's shot - his first and only so far of the 2018 World Cup - from outside the box was blocked, but what happened next is significant. If the former Arsenal centre forward is Martinez's secret weapon then the description is apt in every sense. Pogba has looked impressive alongside Kante in France's midfield, while Lukaku has scored four goals in the tournament.

Griezmann has seven goals in his last six tournament knockout matches and nine goals and three assists in the World Cup and European Championship.

Both sides know what is like to turn results around during the current World Cup campaign. "We've been confident from the start and we're not asking any questions of ourselves". One where the stakes will be extremely high between two attacking-minded sides. Henry, scorer of goals that frequently had his audiences asking "How did he do that?" when he was a player, works with Belgian strikers on the fine details of finishing; he is there to divulge secrets, and keep those secrets in a closed circle. He is an obvious, natural role model for any forward, and the ideal one for, say, a precious, strong pacey striker who, like him, was born on the outskirts of Paris, and, like him, served his apprenticeship at Monaco and, like him, scored crucial goals to galvanise a World Cup campaign.

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