25 & # 39 ;: Fellaini in place
First turn for France (Belgium has four). Felliani walks away easily.
23 & # 39 ;: Counter-attacks from France
Another long pass from the half, and this time Olivier Giroud's turn for France. He lunges for it, does not get everything, and it goes far.
Kevin Draper: It's quite surprising how flat France started this game. They have as many assailants as Belgium and a defense supported by Real Madrid and Barcelona, and yet it seems they have already admitted that Belgium is the better team.
22 & # 39 ;: Belgium fires off  After another corner, Toby Alderweireld is free to shoot at the penalty spot. His left foot shot is beaten by Hugo Lloris for another corner kick into the goal, which brings nothing.
Andrew Das: Belgium has come close to four times in the last five minutes – the last time Alderweireld was shot down The corner that could save Lloris with a dive. It was really entertaining in the first 20 minutes, but 90 percent of them almost counted Belgium. That they did not do that is perhaps the good thing France has done so far.
20 ': Scare for France
De Bruyne attempts a small chip-shot pass to Felliani, who is offside even though the flag does not go up. Lloris beats it off after a moment of terror for France.
19 & # 39 ;: Varane Saves One
Eden Hazard shoots out of the box at the outpost but Raphaël Varane barely has the back of his head
18 & # 39 ;: France fires but Courtois is there  Blaise Matuidi, returning to France's side for the match, shoots from the edge of the box and forces Courtois into a parade.
Andrew Das: This was a missile from Matuidi and a great sign for France. But it hits Courtois directly in the gloves. But again, Belgium is back on the other end in seconds, with Hazard a shot that Varane justssst over the crossbar nodding behind a beaten Lloris.
16 & # 39 ;: Hazard Misses
From a wiretap, Kevin De Bruyne plays a quick one-touch ball to Eden Hazard in the box and he is unmarked. But Hazard hits it far right! Good chance.
Kevin Draper: Both Belgium and France had the most chance of winning the game in the last few minutes, and maybe it was not by chance that both came after the sales. This could be a game in which the pressure is deliberately increased to lure the midfielders forward before the counterattack repulses.
14 & # 39 ;: De Bruyne loses
Kevin De Bruyne attacked the French defense with pace a misunderstanding with Romelu Lukaku caused sales and ruined the chance
13 & # 39 ;: Pogba finds Mbappe  A long, through-the-ball from the middle of Paul Pogba finds Kylian Mbappe, and he's half a step ahead of his man. But Courtois is sliding down in time.
Andrew Das: Belgium in a somewhat fluid formation. Witsel and Dembele protect the back three and Chadli falls back at eight when France has the ball and he has time.
10 & # 39 ;: France Flickers
A rare advance from Griezmann and France brings their fans to life – but only briefly when Kompany clears the first sign of danger with a strong header. And back on the other side we go ….
Kevin Draper: Both teams have ruthlessly counterattacked in this tournament, and so every attack seems to be careful in throwing numbers forward. Belgium patiently probes the French defense, with Axel Witsel and Mousa Dembele both staying home to protect the rear three.
9 & # 39 ;: Belgium is the better side at the moment
Belgium's passing game has been crisp and very successful, with France playing for a long time without ball contact.
6 & # 39 ;: corner for Belgium
Nacer Chadli The corner is a bit too strong and goes over the heads of his comrades.
4 & # 39 ;: Belgium retains its ownership
At this early glory of Mbappe followed a few minutes in which Belgium tried whatever it wants on the right.
1 & # 39 ;: Mbappe makes a statement
Mbappe needed every five seconds to drop Vertonghen like a nasty penny, drive down the wing, and flash in a flank that FAST GRIEZMANN hit, step by step , Great start for France.
Kick-off in St. Petersburg!
Belgium in red, France in blue.
Feeling like Nostradamus?
You can bet on the exact score of the game (after 90 minutes). The favorite is 1-1, followed by 1-0 France, 0-0, 2-1 France, 1-0 Belgium and 2-1 Belgium. Do you think the regulatory period will end in a tie of 4-4 or higher? If you are right, you will be rewarded with a payout of 400-1.
Yellow cards are cleared
Yellow cards were wiped out after the quarter-finals, so anyone who chooses one today would still be eligible to play Sunday's final. A red card, however, is another story; Anyone who is fired today must expect a ban on gaming.
France sticks to what works: Pavard-Varane-Umtiti-Hernandez on the back, protected by Kanté and Pogba as needed. Matuidi, Griezmann and Mbappé will whirl around in and around Giroud starting alone on top
Goalkeeper: 1 Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
Defenders: 21 Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid), 2 Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), 5 Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), 4 Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: 13 N 'Golo Kante (Chelsea), 14 Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), 6 Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Striker: 9 Olivier Giroud ( Chelsea), 7 Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), 10 Kylian Mbappe (Paris St. Germain)
Belgium also stays at work: Fellaini starts again with Witsel and Mousa Dembélé, flanked by Nacer Chadli and De Bruyne. Hazard and Lukaku in front, and the same three-man backline she brought: Vertonghen, Kompany and Alderweireld.
Goalkeeper: 1 Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)
Defenders: 2 Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), 4 Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), 5 Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)
Midfielder: 7 Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City) , 19 Mousa Dembele (Tottenham), 8 Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), 10 Eden Hazard (Chelsea), 6 Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian)
Forward: 22 Nacer Chadli (West Brom), 9 Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
Belgian offensive successful and shot 85 times to Brazil. France has shot only 56 times, followed by defected countries such as Spain, Germany and Mexico. Belgium's shots were also more accurate: 39 percent were at the finish, compared to 34 percent of French shots.
Belgium's Winning Streak
Belgium lost its first game under Roberto Martinez in August 2016 to Spain and is unbeaten in 24 games since (19 wins).
Kevin De Bruyne's role
The fortunes of Belgium and the contributions of Kevin De Bruyne have risen in lockstep since the Red Devils have fallen behind in the round of the Japanese 2-0 16. Given the elimination and The need to score goals sent Roberto Martinez Marouane Fellaini into a defensive midfield role – to get annoyed with social media – and pushed De Bruyne into the more offensive role he's used to playing. The result was a back-to-back victory, and the change was aimed at Brazil from the start, leading to a goal from De Bruyne and the victory that sent the Belgians to St. Petersburg.
"My role is changing all the time," said De Bruyne Montag, adding, "It can change for the semi-final, I do not know yet, but I think it will be."
Like her here are
Belgium are the only team left on the pitch with five victories in the World Cup this year. France tied Denmark in the group stage and England lost to Belgium. Croatia left the field as winners in each game, but it continued with two penalties, but these were only tiebreakers: both matches were officially recorded as a draw.
France – Belgium: The Goals
France scored nine goals and scored three. Belgium scored 14 goals in the group stage, boosted by big wins over Panama (3: 0) and Tunisia (5: 2), but in the defense it was not nearly as stingy. It has given up five goals in Russia.
Thierry Henry on the other side
The presence of former France star Thierry Henry on the Belgian bench tonight will be a bit embarrassing. Henry was in 1998 with Deschamps teammate at the World Cup finals in his country. Now he works as coach of the Belgian coach Roberto Martinez. "I was fortunate to play with him for two years in the French team," said Hugo Lloris. "It is true that it is a bit strange to see him with the Belgian team, but that's his career and that's how he learns his future career, I think his heart will be split tomorrow, because he's a Frenchman through everything.
How Belgium was built
Some see in Belgium's semi-finals confirmation of how it has changed its development system and nurtured its present generation of players. As with the restarts in Germany and Spain, the change in Belgium is now regarded by some as worthy of study and as a copy. But the presence of Belgium, Croatia, France and England here, writes Rory Smith, is a reminder to be careful to reproduce each model in another country.
Belgium's attack vs. France's Defense
Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne may be the best offensive trio left in the tournament, and they have asked serious questions to each team in the KO. France's ability to disrupt before putting them in dangerous positions will do much to prevent them from playing today. This role often goes to N & # 39; Golo Kanté, a tireless worker. But Paul Pogba will need some help, and today he is assisted by the central defense of Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti. Belgium will not be a one man job
Can Belgium Slow Mbappé and Griezmann?
Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann will face such a terrifying attack test as Belgium against Brazil recently. Belgium did that in midfield with a strong game between Marouane Fellaini and Axel Witsel, and France should expect a bit more today.
France vs Belgium Top Story Lines
• So many matchups will be known to regular Premier League regulars today: N & G Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba of France vs. Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium midfield; Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris tries to fend off striker Romelu Lukaku; Olivier Giroud could prevail against header players Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. But club membership is also blurred today: Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Paris St. Germain, Monaco and Barcelona both have players in this semi-final.
• "I think we know them very well now," said France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. "But they know us very well." Said Manager Didier Deschamps: "It's an advantage on both sides, they can appreciate each other, but everyone will be on their side during the match."
• Belgium has Thomas Meunier, an important (but not necessarily flashy) member his team, not obliged. He won his second yellow card against Brazil and is suspended. France brings Blaise Matuidi back after being suspended in the quarter-final for his own yellow card.
• Tottenham Hotspur has as many players (nine) in the World Cup as the entire Bundesliga and one more than Italy's Serie A. Four Spurs players played today: Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembélé for Belgium, and Hugo Lloris for France. The Belgian Nacer Chadli was also on Spurs.
• France won the 1998 World Cup and returned to the final in 2006. Belgium is only in the semi-finals for the second time. In 1986 he lost in this phase.
• Today's winner meets in the final on Sunday in Moscow on the England-Croatia winner. The loser can stay in St. Petersburg, where on Saturday the match for third place will take place.
• France are the favorites to reach the final, but it's close by: bookmakers' odds are likely to be about 54 percent. The bookmakers also have many other opinions: The over / under is 2.5 goals. In the corners it is 10. The most likely player to score the first goal is Antoine Griezmann from France (6-1), followed by Romelu Lukaku from Belgium (7-1) and Kylian Mbappe from France (8-1) ,
Some Prelude Comments
• France's freshly bred right-back Benjamin Pavard had a strong tournament and scored a wonderful goal against Argentina. But his part of the field is where Belgium's Eden Hazard likes to work and that could be his biggest test so far.
• Almost half – 40 out of 92 – the players remaining in the World Cup play for Premier League clubs. Jonathan Lieuw looks at what that means, why the people in the league should not give too much credit yet.
• Shameless flattery, dodgy fluency and heartfelt ovation: Sarah Lyall wrote about the glorious stew and the big theater that is the World Cup Press Conference
• Why does every player in the World Cup put their hands on the head after a near-miss? ? It turns out that there is a psychological explanation.
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