Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Belgium's Hazard spells SWC danger for France

Belgium's Hazard spells SWC danger for France

Lukaku is now a key member of the Belgian World Cup squad, which secured an impressive 2-1 quarter-final win over pre-tournament favourites Brazil on Friday to win a place in the semi-final, where they will face a tough encounter against France.

After beating tournament favourites Brazil, Belgium find themselves just one game away from a World Cup final.

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Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku were also outstanding against the Brazilians and Belgium have won their last two matches without this pair finding the net.

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Five games, five wins, 14 goals.

While Giroud has yet to score at this World Cup, his ability to hold the ball up suits France's system and allows Mbappe to make runs down the right flank. Pep Guardiola's side broke plenty of records as they stormed their way to the Premiership last season, but Mourinho is eager to get one over his arch-rival.

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Henry, who scored 51 goals in 123 worldwide appearances, played for France at four World Cups in all.

"Hazard is a player with great talent, with much pace and big quality", he said.

"Because of the seven years I spent in France I feel 99 percent Belgian and one percent French, but the idea of taking French nationality never crossed my mind" Hazard once said when asked about the possibility.

"We have already eliminated the best player in the world [Messi] against Argentina".

The victory boosted France's morale, and they followed it up with a workman-like 2-0 win over Uruguay that was impressive because of how well they managed to control the game against tricky opponents. The Atletico Madrid striker was the top scorer in the 2016 Euros, leading host France to the final (where it lost to Portugal in extra time).

Belgium's returning first team players made a sluggish start against the Samurai Blue and suddenly found themselves trailing by two goals with time ebbing away.

But he said France were talented and experienced enough to break down Belgium's defensive "wall" around keeper Thibaut Courtois.

Paris Saint Germain forward Mbappe has scored three goals at the World Cup so far. "I would have preferred that he was with us and that he was giving his advice to me or to the other attackers. It doesn't shock me at all".

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