Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Eden Hazard predicted Belgium vs England World Cup final before the tournament

Eden Hazard predicted Belgium vs England World Cup final before the tournament

They went on to beat Uruguay 2-0 booking a date with Belgium who downed Brazil 2-1 reach semi-finals.

This will be the first competitive meeting between France and Belgium since the 1986 World Cup, when France won 4-2 in the third-place playoff. 'It brings into question the work you do every day.

Thomas Vermaelen considers Belgium to be genuine World Cup title contenders.

World Cup victor Henry is now an assistant to Belgium coach Robert Martinez, and will be helping Belgium try to reach the World Cup final for the first time in their history.

"We want desperately to get to the final and go on and win, because if it doesn't happen it will forever be a disappointment".

There is a very good chance, 3/4 to be exact that by the time this tournament ends on Sunday, one of these nations gets to bury the underachiever label; at least for a very long time.

Like opposite number Martinez, Didier Deschamps has been much-maligned, but the France coach is on the brink of taking his side to the World Cup final.

Earlier, France boss Deschamps had said that four of his players would only have a light training workout, but that all 23 would be fit to play.

Henry remains France's record goalscorer, with 51 goals from his 123 internationals over 13 of the most fruitful years of his country's football history. But some doubt whether he has the desire to back up his huge talent and challenge Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the world's best player.

Belgium has height and heading ability in defenders Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen and Marouane Fellaini. But with the likes of Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and rising star Kylian Mbappe, the team is not short of talent.

"When things were going well, I was reading newspaper articles and they were calling me Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian striker", wrote the Manchester United forward in an article for the Players' Tribune last month.

But he said France were talented and experienced enough to break down Belgium's defensive "wall" around keeper Thibaut Courtois. "It doesn't shock me at all". We need to defend spaces more than the player himself.

Mbappe was thought to be close to joining the European champions before he signed for Paris Saint-Germain last summer and several reports have claimed he is seen as a replacement for Ronaldo should the Portugal captain complete his move to Turin.

England is gripped by World Cup fever.

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