Semi Final: France v Belgium

Mr C

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#4
Can't wait for this, I am going France too, bit like an England/Scotland game really, anything can happen.
 

jsp

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#5
I fancy Belgium think they've looked the best team at the tournament by a long way and all the big hitters for them are in form whereas France look like a team of individuals.

Feels like a real heavyweight clash though so much talent on the pitch will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
 

Mr C

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#6
I think a lot depends on Hazard, if he turns up on form Belgium could nick it, he is scary when he runs at the defence. But I think France just have a tiny bit too much for them. Especially with Matuidi back. I just hope it's as good as it should be.

I'll be interested to see who Madrid focus on after this world cup, possibly Hazard will be high up there, and Courtois, who was brilliant the other night.

And Maguire of course, surprised the united links haven't started.

So for this match, it's anyones really, but I'm going for France just because I live here. France England final would be mental
 

jsp

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#7
I think a lot depends on the tactics they pulled a surprise vs Brazil and it caught them out will Martinez got back to the 3-4-3 or will he stick to a 4-3-3 I think they need to stick to the 4-3-3 as I don't think you can let good teams have the extra man in midfield it's a death wish.

France on paper have centre backs who can deal with the physical side of Lukaku but if he's in the mood he was in vs Brazil he's pretty much unstoppable if he's got the space in behind similar to Mbappe.

I have to admit I've missed a lot of the France games have they started to click a bit?
 

Mr C

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#8
not really, I don't think it's the players, I don't Deschamps is the best to be honest.

But what they have in Mbappe is a real unknown. Griezmann has been really dictating play and playing really well, Pogba has had a good tourny, I really like their Rightback but he could be in trouble with Hazard. But they do have a quality keeper, CB's and Kante. I think they missed Matuidi last game.

It's so close it's difficult to call. Belgium against Brazil take it I think, they need De Bruyne, Hazard and Lukaku, otherwise they are in trouble. The middle is iffy and I haven't been too impressed with Vertongan and Alderwereird to be honest. Courtois seems on it though.
 

jsp

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#9
My only worry with France is you can't rely on them one minute they're great the next they're all over the place at least they seem to have settled on an XI now he's stopped trying to cram everyone in even if that means guys like Lemar & Dembele are on the bench he finally seems to have found the balance. Deschamps was just spoiled for choice so he couldn't help but change things and I think that became his downfall at times with the national team he needed to pick a team and show faith in it.
 
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#10
Huge game for both and should be a really fun one to watch actually. So much attacking talent in both teams.
 
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#11
France XI: Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Pogba, Matuidi, Kante; Griezmann, Giroud, Mbappe.

Belgium XI: Courtois; Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen; Dembele, Fellaini, Witsel, Chadli; De Bruyne, Lukaku, Hazard.

Martinez has gone funky here, replacing Meunièr with Dembele, looks like it could be Dembele at RWB and Chadli at LWB. He’s gone full on LVG putting Kuyt at LWB here!
 

jsp

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#14
Great front post header if you go zonal and don’t have blockers almost impossible to defend that.

Missed most the game but on the radio sounded like Belgium were better side first half.
 

jsp

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#16
Yeah France just got it done which is sort of how they’ve been all tournament now they’ve picked a settled side they seem to be getting better and better.

Whoever they play they’ll be the favourite in the final.
 

JSNFRMN

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#17
Varane and Pogba absolutely incredible in that game, a real coming of age tournament for the pair of them so far. You just get that feeling that having lost the final in Euro 2016 in their backyard that they're refusing to let this slip.
 

Red Warrior

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#18
France on the counter attack were absolutely frightening. They let Belgium knock the ball about with 10, sometimes 11 men behind the ball then as soon as they got possession they were off. It was like the whole team countered as one. Fantastic!
 

Mr C

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#20
Mbappe is great, the whole team are pretty good to be honest, clear favs in the final, Matuidi males such a difference to that side for such an average player.

Think my dream of united signing Varane will be over, having a cracking tourny. As for Madrid, who will it be, Mbappe or Hazard. When Hazard has the ball at his feet I don't think there is anyone better vs the pace and skill of Mbappe.

I enjoyed the game, glad my adopted country won.
 

Mr C

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#21
This game did kind of sum up my concerns with Lukaku though, when it's all going his way he is on fire. But in games like yesterday he doesn't do enough to get involved for me, he's too stationary. Tight games it's like playing with a man missing, he needs to do more, and become a match winner/game changer
 
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#22
Mbappe is going to be the best player in the world. That kid has got it all he really does.

The rest of the game yesterday was very very poor and should we get to the final we should not fear France.
 

Mr C

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#23
If I were in the united boardroom I'd putting a 200m bid for him no problem. Reality is, he'll end up at Madrid.

If the runours of Madrid being interested in Neymar are true I'd drop those and go all in on Mbappe. I was talking to a French pal about him at the weekend. A real nice kid apparantly. The French are fed up of footballers beacause of players like Benzema and Ribery, he's completely different by all accounts, I mean off pitch activity/attitude, just a down to earth lad who loves his football.
 

IDFD

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#24
I don’t get the French hype after that. The game showed we have nothing to be scared of. They haven’t clicked at all. Opened Belgium up once and their goal came from a free kick which we’ll be better at defending.
 

IDFD

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#25
I found Pogba and Mbappes timewasting very frustrating something the refs have to clamp down on. I really do wish we’d move to a 60 minute stop clock. Ball was in play less than 2 minutes off the 6 added on.
 

IDFD

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#26
Also he booked Mbappe for timewasting so why didn’t he add any extra time on?
 

jsp

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#27
To be fair they did time waste but Belgium deserved it for not keeping the discipline they gave France 2 stupid free kicks which they obviously took their time over and on the corner the players not keeping there yards allowed them to waste even more time.

I can't say I watched the game with full attention but 6 minutes in the second half seemed quite generous considering there were no goals and I only recall the injury on Matuide.

France remind me so much of the Juventus team of the 90's which included Deschamp they're incredibly talented but also very disciplined and don't give you anything then have one or two players who make the difference. We used to play them all the time and the games would be incredibly even with almost nothing happening but we'd lose 1-0 because of one momentary lapse in concentration. This team probably could play a more expansive style under a different manager but if you can't argue with the results 2 major finals in a row and every now and again along the way they let the handbrake off and dish out a beating.

The rumours about Mbappe are that he doesn't like Neymar & his little Brazilian clique because they pick on him a bit playing pranks even though he's told them to stop they carry on and the club don't do anything about it because Neymar can do what he wants. The rumours are it's got to the point where one has to go and PSG are a bit torn on what to do and the currently they'd be more open to dropping Neymar than Mbappe because Neymar also has problems with Cavani.
 

Mr C

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#28
Belgium, probably one of the best teams in the competition and what one chance, De Bruyne and Lukaku kept quiet. I thought Hazard looked really dangerous on the ball, I don't know how he can hold on to it so tightly. Great player.

France are a very good and dangerous team, if not massively exciting but they have very quick clever players and a really good defence. They will be really tough to beat.

Time wasting is part of the game, it will happen tonight too. I don't like it either though but Belgium didn't help themselves there, no need to push Mbappe and waste more time.
 

Mr C

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#29
The rumours about Mbappe are that he doesn't like Neymar & his little Brazilian clique because they pick on him a bit playing pranks even though he's told them to stop they carry on and the club don't do anything about it because Neymar can do what he wants. The rumours are it's got to the point where one has to go and PSG are a bit torn on what to do and the currently they'd be more open to dropping Neymar than Mbappe because Neymar also has problems with Cavani.
I don't like Neymar or his attitude and I can see this being true, as I said earlier, Mbappe is a real nice boy by all accounts, the complete opposite of Neymar who wants to be centre of attention.

PSG might not actually have a say, Mbappe is still a Monaco player they haven't bought him yet. I read Monaco are open to other offers, which is where Madrid step in. I did read Man Utd were willing to bid and offer Martial but Martial doesn't want to go back.

Neymar made the wrong choice in going to PSG but he's going to have to lump it.
 

Mr C

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#31
was it, ah ok, I thought they had problems FFP and couldn't finalise the deal.

If that is the case there is no way PSG are going to let him go, especially as he is French. If one has to go it will be Neymar, not sure he'd be as popular on the market.
 

jsp

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#32
I don't like Neymar or his attitude and I can see this being true, as I said earlier, Mbappe is a real nice boy by all accounts, the complete opposite of Neymar who wants to be centre of attention.

PSG might not actually have a say, Mbappe is still a Monaco player they haven't bought him yet. I read Monaco are open to other offers, which is where Madrid step in. I did read Man Utd were willing to bid and offer Martial but Martial doesn't want to go back.

Neymar made the wrong choice in going to PSG but he's going to have to lump it.
I'm not sure he's the ring leader of that group there is apparently a little clique of Brazilian's at PSG who've kind of segregated themselves from the rest of the squad and they basically walk around thinking they can do whatever they want this was pretty much confirmed by Emery when he announced he was leaving as manager. There are times when I think Neymar gets a raw deal but there's an element of everything you read about him suggesting he's a complete tool.

As IDFD said the deal is done now there's no going back but PSG are staring down the barrel of a huge FFP defecit now as their application for season 2018/19 was flagged as suspicious and that didn't even include the Neymar deal that comes in for 2019/20 and the Mbappe deal comes in 2020/2021 because you are always working 1 season behind. If there were to sell one of these superstars this summer it will help them going forward and the only clubs who I think could do one of these types of deals are Utd or Madrid and I don't think Utd are in the frame for either really so its Madrid or stick for them.

Mbappe seems like a really good kid he's clearly got confidence and swagger but he seems fairly humble about it he knows he's good but he's not going to rub it in your face and the reports are he's got a good group of people around him as his family have tried to keep agents and hangers on away from him.
 

JSNFRMN

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#33
Mbappe is the only player around that would make me go, right forget about improving the defence... bring him in and sell a few attackers. Won't happen though. With the shambles Chelsea are in at the moment, you wouldn't bet against Hazard wanting that Real Madrid move but having received about £100m for Ronaldo, Real would be stupid not to go for Mbappe. 55 goals at senior level before the age of 20.
 
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