It will be tough on Belgium after their Herculean effort in beating Brazil, but the Red Devils may suffer semi-final heartbreak against France on Tuesday.
Les Bleus have had a relatively easy run to the semi-finals and have got better as the World Cup has gone on while Belgium may well have peaked in Kazan on Friday evening.
Didier Deschamps has been criticised in the past for his tactics and they did play some dull football in their group games but that was certainly not the case when they saw off Argentina 4-3 in one of the games of the tournament.
A rugged Uruguay side asked different questions of a young France team in the quarter-finals but again Deschamps’ players were up to the challenge and, after negotiating a tricky and niggly first half, they eventually eased to a relatively routine victory.
Antoine Griezmann was one of the stars of Euro 2016 but the Atletico Madrid player has not hit any great heights in Russia so far and Tuesday’s semi-final may be the time for him to shine.
Belgium have won all five of their matches to date, although they would probably have preferred to have lost to England as the victory against Gareth Southgate’s team has left them with the tricky proposition of defeating Les Blues just four days after getting the better of five-time World Cup winners Brazil.
It may be too much to ask of Roberto Martinez’s side as the effort needed to beat the South Americans left the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne drained.
Belgium also needed to dig deep to come from behind to defeat Japan 3-2 in the round of 16 and, despite the undoubted talent in the team, a comparatively fresh France side may just have the edge in St Petersburg as they chase a second World Cup triumph following their success on home soil 20 years ago.
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