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France vs. Belgium: Team News, Live Stream, TV Info for World Cup 2018

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2018

Belgium's coach Roberto Martinez attends the Russia 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Brazil and Belgium at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on July 6, 2018. (Photo by Roman Kruchinin / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS        (Photo credit should read ROMAN KRUCHININ/AFP/Getty Images)
ROMAN KRUCHININ/Getty Images

France and Belgium go head-to-head in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday for the chance to compete in the 2018 World Cup final.

Les Bleus have reached the final on two previous occasions; in 1998 on home soil when they went on to win, and in 2006 when they lost to Italy on penalties.

The Red Devils have never made it to the final. They reached the semi-finals once before in 1986 but failed to advance.

                      

Date: Tuesday, July 10

Time: 9 p.m. local time/7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET

TV: BBC (UK), ITV (UK), Fox (USA)

Live Stream: BBC website (UK), ITV Hub (UK), Fox Soccer 2GO (USA)

                       

Team News

According to Tom Doyle of the Evening Standard, Belgium's only absence will be the suspended Thomas Meunier.

France, it seems, will have a full complement of players available to them, with Blaise Matuidi returning after he was suspended for the quarter-final.

                        

Preview

After coming from 2-0 down to beat Japan in the last 16, Belgium impressed as they saw off the challenge of Brazil in the quarter-final with a 2-1 win.

Kevin De Bruyne, having been deployed in a deep role by manager Roberto Martinez for much of the tournament, thrived in a more advanced position against the Selecao and scored a fine goal to help his side progress:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Let's appreciate that Kevin de Bruyne strike one more time 🙌 #BEL #WorldCup https://t.co/ye01WN7OES

There were plenty of other positives to take from their performance, per football writer Karl Matchett:

Karl Matchett @karlmatchett

Great game. ✅ #BEL won tactics battle from KO, #BRA did same after break with reshuffle and more aggressive midfield stance ✅ Hazard, utterly remarkable. Leading counters, holdup play, technique. ✅ Lukaku, intelligent and excellent ✅ Witsel, best ever seen him. #WorldCup

They'll be France's biggest test at the World Cup.

Les Bleus faced Argentina and Uruguay after cruising through a straightforward group of Denmark, Australia and Peru. However, Argentina were a disjointed side who only just scraped through to the knockout phase, and Uruguay sorely missed the injured Edinson Cavani and offered little attacking threat as a result.

The Independent's Miguel Delaney has not been overly impressed by the French:

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

Really is alchemy from Deschamps to make a team with this much flamboyant talent this dull. An act of genius.

While they may not always be as fluid as you'd like given the talent available, their players have match-winning capability, and they could do so against Belgium.

The Red Devils should be commended for their victory over Brazil, but the Selecao were not without chances and could easily have added to their tally with only slightly more clinical finishing.

The likes of Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann can take full advantage if Belgium have any slip-ups at the back, particularly as they have an in-form Paul Pogba supplying them with ammunition.

It makes for a potentially thrilling clash on Tuesday, one that could go either way.

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