The semi-finalists of the Elite tournament going on at Russia are decided. France, Belgium, Croatia and England made it to the final four and are all set to lock horns tonight. Euro 2016 finalists France take on Belgium while England, the nation with the league generating the highest revenue take on Croatia .

The finalists who will play it out in Luzhniki Stadium on 15th July will be decided tonight.  

 

HISTORY

The clash between France and Belgium will be the 74th meeting between the two sides. France have won 24 times to Belgium’s 30 times. they have 19 draws between them. This will be the first meeting between the two sides after the 1986 World Cup, when France won 4-2 in the third-place playoff.

France are making their sixth appearance in the World Cup semi-finals. They were eliminated in the first three (1958, 1982, 1986 ) and reached the final twice. (1998 and 2006).

 

WINNING RECORD

 

Belgium are unbeaten in their last 24 matches in all competitions, winning 19 and drawing 5. Excluding shootouts, France have lost just one of their last 13 games in the knockout rounds of the World Cup (W10 D2 L1).

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

 

PAUL POGBA

 

Finding a role where Pogba can perform to his full potential is yet to be cracked by French Coach Didier Deschamps.  

The Manchester United midfielder however, performed with authority in the 2-0 quarter-final win over Uruguay . He won a remarkable 14 duels. What he brings to the table in a clash against equally ruthless Belgium is yet to be seen.

 

KEVIN DE BRUYNE  

 

Just like Pogba, Kevin De Bruyne was shackled in a  deep lying role earlier in the competition .

He was unleashed in an attacking role against Brazil and it had a rather devastating effect.    

If the Manchester City man can do similar feat against France, then Hugo Lloris and Co are in for a very long night.

 

ANTOINE GRIEZMANN

 

The Atletico Madrid player scored seven goals in his last six knockout stage matches in major tournaments.

This incredible stat   started off with his Golden Boot winning displays at Euro 2016.

Give this former Real Sociedad player little space and he can create some dangerous moments for the Belgian defence.

 

ROMELU LUKAKU  

 

The big Belgian forward has been directly involved in 20 goals in his last 13 games for Belgium in all competitions.

The former Chelsea man and presently Manchester United forward scored 17 goals and has three assists to his name.

 

His link up with Belgian captain Eden Hazard can create some real trouble for the French players should they fail to put an end to it.

 

KYLIAN MBAPPE

 

Kylian Mbappe is the highest scoring teenager in a World Cup tournament since Pele scored six in 1958.  Mbappe, who will join PSG this summer has three goals to his name so far.

He is one of the players that the Belgian backline will have an eye on, look to shut him out as much as possible.  

If the Belgians fail to do so, then Mbappe got enough moves to take his team into the final at Russia.