Coach finally gets time in spotlight

Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud stretches to try to reach the ball as Chelsea's Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Chelsea's Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic

Coach finally gets time in spotlight

Vermaelen has started just one of Belgium's five World Cup matches so far after only recovering from a hamstring injury just in time to travel to Russian Federation with Roberto Martinez's squad.

Henry, who scored 51 goals in 123 global appearances, played for France at four World Cups in all. However, in reality, Didier Deschamps has made his side a defensively-sided team as Les Blues have only conceded four goals in the tournament.

According to Martinez, another aspect of Belgium's emergence is the role of Thierry Henry, who will be put in the delicate position of having to plot the downfall of his former side having been appointed as assistant coach two years ago. Now they have the chance to book another final appearance although Deschamps prefers to look on the game as another opportunity for success, rather than atonement for the past.

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Martinez went on to observe how De Bruyne's exceptional vision, range of passing and reading of a game make him a fans' favourite when he operates in the final third, while the same qualities can also be more subtly decisive from deep. "I don't know if he's going to do it, but I congratulate him on being in a semi-final even though he's going to face us". We often speak of a player and say, "He's fast, he's tough, he jumps high", but we never speak about a player's brain.

Now I think a lot of questions have been answered in saying that this is a team, not a group of individuals.

Eden Hazard was a lively presence on Belgium's right, dragging a shot wide and Toby Alderweireld forced a smart save from Hugo Lloris while at the other end Olivier Giroud flicked a header narrowly wide.

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This afternoon, we've got France taking on Belgium.

While the duo of Mbappe and Pogba are attracted by their expansive, aggressive play, Lukaku is in the picture for his power play.Today's semi duel is expected to live up to its a worthy its billing. England and Croatia are set to play tomorrow.

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