France should expect a physical battle against Belgium tonight

Saint Petersburg stadium has already witnessed plenty of excitement too, from a much-celebrated win for the hosts to the Messi and Rojo-inspired Argentina win over Nigeria. We looked back at the highlights thus far. Saint Petersburg Stadium is once again looking magnificent as its penultimate match at Russia 2018 draws closer.

France should expect a physical battle against Belgium? If so, they have the players they need.

Lucas Hernandez is the full-back who has won the most duels at this World Cup, while midfielder Paul Pogba won 14 duels against Uruguay, a record since 1998 for the French team.

France and Belgium have faced each other at international level a whopping 73 times (!), and no team has won more matches against Les Bleus, or scored more goals, than the Red Devils.

Roberto Martinez’s willingness to change and the fluidity of the Belgium squad have been crucial elements of their run to the World Cup semi-finals. Here, we examine some of the important decisions along the way.

Benjamin Pavard is emerging as something of a talisman for France. Indeed, he has yet to lose a match representing his country, whatever the age category (U-19s, U-21s and seniors – 29 games in total!)

Belgium enjoyed a famous and extremely hard-fought win over Brazil in the Round of 16. And they made sure to celebrate it in style, as this photo gallery shows.

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