Two high-powered offenses clash to determine who will be the favorite heading into the World Cup Final.
In a battle between two of the favorites to raise the World Cup, it’s hard to predict what will happen. Many expected Brazil to give Belgium some trouble, but a screamer from Kevin De Bruyne pushed his squad into the semi-finals. The Belgians will hope that he and Romelo Lukaku can ride the momentum against a French side that look poised to strike. Young star Kylian Mbappe will look to expose the likes of Jan Vertonghen and create chances for Les Blues.
Despite France’s firepower, it is actually Belgium that is the top scoring team in this year’s World Cup tournament thus far with 14 goals. Romelo Lukaku and the Red Devils started their match against Brazil with a two goal lead thanks to a Fernandinho own goal and a De Bruyne strike, only for Renato Augusto to nab a late goal and test the Belgians’ fortitude for the final 15 minutes of play. They held of the Brazilians and many are curious whether Roberto Martinez will replicate his lineup for the matchup against the French. He will need another strong showing from his side to slow down Paul Pogba and the French midfield, who will hope that Thibaut Cortois’ hands are as soft as Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera.
This match will be an offensive showdown, as both teams are stacked with firepower. Eden Hazard will be influential for Belgium’s attack, as he and De Bruyne look to unlock a French side bolstered by the sure-handed goalie Thibaut Cortois. It will be interesting to see if Roberto Martinez maintains the lineup change he used against Uruguay, with Lukaku lining up on the right wing. For the French, Antoinne Griezmann will look to nab his fourth goal of this World Cup campaign after being gifted one against Uruguay. Blaise Matuidi will return from a ban, which should also give Les Blues a spark of energy. If Ngolo Kante can force Belgium’s defense to pressure him, he should be able to find some holes behind a Belgian defense that can’t keep up with the speed of the French attack.
…odds are this will be an exciting match that comes down to the wire.
These two nations have met a total of 73 times and Belgium have won 30 of the matches to France’s 24. Whether that is a sign of things to come will remain to be seen, but odds are this will be an exciting match that comes down to the wire.