The semi-final stage of the FIFA World Cup will begin today. In the much anticipated first semifinal, France will lock horn with Belgium at Saint Petersberg at 11.30 pm. In the second semi-final, England will face Croatia tomorrow at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
France will play their sixth World Cup semi-final today whereas Belgium reached last four stage for the second time. France won two World cup semifinals and clinched the title once in 1998. Belgium’s only previous World Cup semi-final ended in a defeat to Argentina in 1986. France have won all three previous meetings with Belgium at major tournaments, including two World Cup encounters. This will be the 74th encounter between the two sides with Belgium winning 30 and France 24 while 19 games ended in draw. Both teams have put in some stellar performances to reach this stage of the competition.
France defeated Uruguay in quarter finals and Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the round of 16 while Belgium eliminated World Cup favourites Brazil in the quarter finals. French coach Didier Deschamps will depend on teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba while Belgium Coach Roberto Martinez has to trust on his lethal forward line consists of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne. The clash between two European neighbours promises to be a nail-biter as tournament favourites France facing the motivated Red Devils who scored highest number of goals so far in the mega event.