France reach 2018 World Cup final, beat Belgium 1-0

2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: France vs Belgium

Defender Samuel Umtiti scored the victor in the 51st minute, beating Marouane Fellaini at the near post to head home Antoine Griezmann 's corner. The match kicks-off at 20:00 hrs (BST) at Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg.

Olivier Debregeas predicts France will beat Belgium 1-0.

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.

With the second youngest side at the World Cup, Les Bleus have shown no lack of confidence and this time they have another reason to be buyoed as Blaise Matuidi returns after sitting out on the suspension of his own. "You have to accept it and congratulate France and wish them luck in the final". He said after that match that there he was disappointed that they were done in by a set-piece.

The teams will be in soon (probably about six) and we can start working out the approach both managers will take tonight from there. The goalkeeper made some high profile blunders for Tottenham last season, as well as some for France in the friendly game prior to the competition.

Former French football legend Thierry Henry must have had mixed emotions as the nation of his birth reached the World Cup final and the country he helps coach was eliminated. Belgium's side is blessed with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, and Romelu Lukaku. Kylian Mbappe is the standout but N'Golo Kante is probably their most important player.

The biggest decision for these lineups come from Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.

Belgium threatened down the flanks and Eden Hazard put in a unsafe cross which was turned behind by Umtiti - though the resulting corner was wasted by Nacer Chadli, playing in an unfamiliar right-back role. In fact, four of Belgium's five games have witnessed over 2.5 goals scored.

The Chelsea defensive midfielder has covered enormous amounts of ground in this World Cup, but it's not just about distance run.

In the 19th minute, Hazard's shot from the left of the box was headed away by Raphael Varane, who had his back to the goal.

I don't expect either side to sit back and play negative.

France keeper Hugo Lloris, a Golden Glove candidate in Russian Federation, had nothing but positive things to say about the Belgium squad.

"It's hard to call and it's like the Brazil game against Belgium, it's very hard to know which was it's going to go". We could've come to this stage and froze and not dealt with what France have done in the past.

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