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In the first semi-final of this summer's tournament, the two near neighbours go head-to-head for what would be Belgium's first ever final appearance and France's third.

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 WhoScored.com.

"It will be freaky to have him up against us", forward Olivier Giroud said. "He is a living legend of French football".

The last time when both France and Belgium reached the FIFA World Cup semi-final in the same edition was in 1986. "We must be solid - the answer is to work collectively, be as structured as possible, and disciplined to avoid giving them much space".

Belgium can call upon the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, while Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe have shone for France in Russian Federation. But with the likes of Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and rising star Kylian Mbappe, the team is not short of talent.

France came through their quarter-final unscathed, and Deschamps has his entire squad to choose from, while Belgium are only slightly worse off.

Belgium has the edge as it has won 30 of the 73 matches between the two sides, compared with 24 for France.

This all Europe World Cup final four is certainly a very compelling one, due to all the engaging storylines. On each of those occasions the tournament has been hosted in Europe. He tells us stories from his playing days and they inspire us.

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. Almost 20 million viewers tuned in for the win over Sweden and social media is awash with videos of excited fans watching on big screens in bars and parks, fanatically celebrating every England goal.

The same applies from a Croatia perspective to England captain Harry Kane, the clear frontrunner for the Golden Boot after hitting six goals in his first three matches at the tournament, sitting out the 1-0 loss to Belgium as he was rested.

Top stat: Lukaku has been directly involved in 20 goals in his last 13 games for Belgium in all competitions - three assists and a whopping 17 goals.

His tenure began with a 2-0 home loss to Spain, but since then Belgium is unbeaten in 23 games and has scored 78 goals - being held scoreless in only one of those games.

Sterling was a key part of the Manchester City side that won the Premier League last season but he has been less effective in England's charge to the last four for the first time since 1990. I repeat yet. He is important for our style. "Personally, it will be of great pleasure to see him again on Tuesday". Brazil attack constantly; when it comes to defence, their structure is not always at its best; this has allowed us to play such an excellent match, especially on the counter-attacks.


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