Eden Hazard sent World Cup warning by France star

Eden Hazard sent World Cup warning by France star

Along with Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, France will have to contend with Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne who has played sensationally so far in Russian Federation.

France will go into their World Cup semi-final against neighbors Belgium with a "hunger to win" and a desire to show their 1998 World Cup victor Thierry Henry that he picked the wrong side, forward Olivier Giroud said on Sunday.

Hazard said that his country will find it hard to beat France if Chelsea teammate N'Golo Kante "is at his best" for Les Bleus.

"I'm sure he's learning on a daily basis and giving good advice to the Belgians".

While Belgium lead the way with 14 goals in this World Cup, France have managed eight in their five matches.

Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne: "When you reach the semi-finals of a World Cup you're never going to find ordinary opposition". We have a lot of respect for what he's done, but we're not going to think about very much.

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Always confident in his abilities, Hazard has been calm on the pitch despite getting some rough treatment during games in Russian Federation. 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. He shares his room with (Frenchman) Alexis (Vuillermoz) - one of them might end up with a black eye. "They both deserve to be elected as best keeper of the tournament, even if I have a preference for Hugo", he said. But some doubt whether he has the desire to back up his enormous talent and challenge Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the world's best player.

France, world champions in 1998, are slight favourites to go through according to most bookmakers, but Belgium tend to step up their game against these particular European rivals, if history is anything to go by. In fact, Antoine Griezmann served a timely reminder of why he was so pivotal to this French team with a virtuoso display against Uruguay. Giroud starts. Not for the goals he himself is likely to contribute, but for how just his presence creates space for others and allows his team to play with a crucial variety.

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

I'd lean towards Belgium - they're [2.2] to qualify - if picking a victor but I'm happier to invest in goals both overall and individually.

France's Kylian Mbappe (3 goals) is the highest scoring teenager in a World Cup tournament since Pele scored six in 1958.

France have only been improving over the course of their World Cup campaign.

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