France eyes World Cup final but Belgium has Henry factor

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Both teams boast a rich assembly of match-winning players - Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard for Belgium and Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe for the French - but have also shown a strength of character that adds to their tournament-winning credentials.

Hugo Lloris says his former France team-mate Thierry Henry's heart will be torn when Les Bleus take on Belgium in the World Cup semi-finals.

This will be the first competitive meeting between France and Belgium since the 1986 World Cup, when France won 4-2 in the third-place playoff.

Giroud suggested Henry's real aim is to learn enough to earn a spot on the French coaching staff some day.

The victor between France and Belgium on Tuesday will face either England or Croatia in the World Cup final on Sunday. "As long as we win, that's fine with me". One thing Deschamps has got right is not trying to cram the best players into a system, instead finding the best combination of players in France's attack. At the end, you do all you can to win and if they're better, they're better.

No player has made more successful dribbles in a World Cup match than Hazard managed vs Brazil (9), while the Belgian sensation was fouled seven times on the night, as per

He said: "Everybody knows Didier Drogba is a bit of a big brother to me".

Meanwhile, France star Kylian Mbappe was a notable absentee from the start of training ahead of the showdown with Belgium in Saint Petersburg.

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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. France or Belgium - who's heading to the final?

Stung into action, Martinez sent on Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli in the 65th minute, and both were heavily involved as Belgium pulled off a late comeback, with Chadli securing victory with practically the last kick of the game. "He is very good in this World Cup with a good defense in front of him", Giroud said.

Both have played key roles in helping their teams to the last four.

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.

"Our last 3 games were different because we played teams with a defensive approach", he said.

He's a great forward who has scored goals wherever he's gone, and more than that, he's a great guy.

England is gripped by World Cup fever.

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