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Hazard to go up against adopted France of his hero Zidane

10 July 2018

The win will not only confirm France's place in the Final, but it also show that the team is ready to become the world powerhouse everyone expects them to be sooner than later.

"Both (teams) have the right mix of youth and experience and also lots of individual talent", he added.

What's next: The victor will face the victor of England and Croatia in the World Cup final Sunday in Moscow.

Deschamps, captain of the national team that won their own World Cup with Henry in it 20 years ago, has previously called his former team-mate's decision "bizarre". Belgium is also the only team left to win all their games in regulation time; no draws, and no penalties to decide the victor.

The former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland star is in St Petersburg for RTÉ Sport for the first of the last four-games tonight between France and Belgium.

"The players have been working together extraordinarily well for many years, and they deserve to be exactly where they are today", Martinez told ESPN Sport. We need to rise to challenge and keep doing what we've been doing. He has lived through great moments in the blue jersey.

Lloris will have Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, the defensive duo who play in front of him for Tottenham Hotspur, on the opposite side. Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante has been pivotal in ensuring the French backline has been relatively relaxed so far this tournament. Marouane Fellaini, who has oft-partnered Pogba in the United midfield, will now be looking to stop the powerful Frenchman. The last time they met in general, during a friendly in 2015, Belgium won 4-3.

Belgium must cope without defender Thomas Meunier, whose runs down the flank are a key part of Belgium's attack.

Didier Deschamps side ground out narrow victories against Australia and Peru before playing out a boring 0-0 draw with Denmark - the only goalless draw of the tournament thus far. "However, during the match, there will be no friendship". "We must be solid - the answer is to work collectively, be as structured as possible, and disciplined to avoid giving them much space".

The Monaco forward has often been compared to former France worldwide Thierry Henry, who now serves as an assistant coach with Belgium.

At just 19, Mbappe has been one of the stars of the competition, marking his campaign with three goals, while his performance in the last 16 clash against Argentina has been widely regarded as one of the best on show in Russian Federation so far. But he is still French and still means a great deal to French football.

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He said: "Thierry is someone who lives for football". He is more proactive than reactive.

Both teams have come through a more testing side of the draw in fairness, with Les Bleus beating Argentina and Uruguay to get to this point, and Belgium had five-time winners Brazil in their way. A crucial victor against Japan demonstrates the danger he can provide, and earned him not only a place in Roberto Martinez's line-up but also our combined XI. "This current crop of Belgian players knows each other and they play at some of the top clubs", he said. The youngster's pace, power, skill and clinical finishing has seen him compared to the likes of Thierry Henry and the Brazilian Ronaldo.

Hazard to go up against adopted France of his hero Zidane