"I'll show him!" - France's Giroud aims to prove Thierry Henry wrong

Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne: "When you reach the semi-finals of a World Cup you're never going to find ordinary opposition". He was their leading scorer in the World Cup when the country won its first and only world title as host nation in 1998, despite not being a regular starter and only 20 years old at the time.

Mbappe churned out a virtuoso performance against Argentina in the last 16, bagging a stunning brace, being a constant threat with his terrifying pace. A brilliant performance from Kylian Mbappe lifted France to a 4-3 win over Argentina, and goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann secured an easier-than-expected 2-0 victory over Uruguay the last time out. The same could be said for Belgium, or any other opponent France have faced, but there is only so much that can be done to prevent Kante from doing what he does best - stopping his opponents, snapping at their heels, covering every blade of grass.

Tom Fornelli's take: I think too many people are overlooking Croatia in this matchup, but I'm going with England just because Croatia has to be exhausted after playing 240 minutes in the last week.

Whether Matuidi returns to the side straightaway remains to be seen, especially with Corentin Tolisso performing admirably against Uruguay. The FC Barcelona centre-back has a knee injury, and his availability will depend on a fitness test closer to kick-off. "But if they [Belgium] play their style of football they can play the role of the capable underdog and beat the mighty French team and book a spot in the final". With Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne combining, Belgium have the competition's most prolific attack while they are also defensively solid and have a fine goalkeeper in Thibaut Courtois. Will Belgium be up to the challenge? "It's going to be a man's match and we will have to step up".

The winners will progress to Sunday's final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow to face either Croatia or England, while the losers will play in the third-place play-off on Saturday.

They also lost the 2006 final to Italy on penalties, though experience won't be a factor given that not a single player left in the tournament has ever reached the showpiece before.

Friends and foes at the same time? Olivier Giroud and Paul Pogba and will try to take the game to Belgium.

‘WaistcoatWednesday’: England fans don waistcoats ahead of semi-final against Croatia
Strong, mobile, indefatigable and good in the air, Mandzukic looks to make life as hard as possible for the defence, stretching play to allow the likes of Modric the space they need to get into the danger zone around the box.

England´s coach Gareth Southgate (R) and England´s forward Harry Kane celebrate after winning during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Sweden and England at the Samara Arena in Samara on July 7, 2018.

Head-to-head the two countries have played seven games with England recording four wins, one draw and two losses.

Both sides have overcome impressive opponents in Russian Federation so far, but who has the edge to take them all the way to the final? Lukaku is on four goals and France's Griezmann and Mbappe have three each.

Both sides know what is like to turn results around during the current World Cup campaign.

Japan led Roberto Martinez's men 2-0 just a couple of weeks ago, with a stunning second-half comeback showing all of us what Belgium are capable of before they only went and dumped out Brazil.

Asked whether he was expecting lots of fans to come to his bar to watch, he replied: "Well, the Belgians have put up a big screen TV in the square on their side, so we'll probably all go there". One where the stakes will be extremely high between two attacking-minded sides. I think he's the leader at the back. The strategy worked, and De Bruyne scored his first goal in Russian Federation.

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