Superb defense takes France close to another World Cup title

Thomas Vermaelen considers Belgium to be genuine World Cup title contenders

Mbappe sat out training at Krestovsky Stadium on Monday but France boss Didier Deschamps said he expects his whole squad to be fit to face Belgium.

Umtiti played his part in a strong defensive effort by the French, too, helping to shut out the highest-scoring team at the tournament and leaving Belgium's golden generation of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku to regret another missed opportunity at a major tournament.

However, those fears have not materialized as the World Cup has been free of the mass violence and racism predicted by many in the United Kingdom press.

This mark's England's first World Cup semifinal appearance since it last reached this semi stage 28 years ago in Italy in 1990.

Rose, 28, has seen limited game time in Russian Federation, with Ashley Young being preferred in the left wingback role. "We had the ball but have to give credit to the way France defended, and we couldn't find that little bit of magic in front of goal".

Police warned England football fans on Monday not to repeat the "shocking behaviour" that followed Saturday's World Cup quarterfinal win over Sweden. He also compensated for the times when right back Benjamin Pavard was caught out of position, particularly by Hazard, when Belgium dominated the opening 20 minutes.

"We need to understand it's an important game, but I accept it's very hard after a game with the emotions we had today".

"It's been two years to try and understand these footballers, the human beings behind the footballers, and to try and get a group that shared the same ambition, not just to use the national team to improve their brand", Martinez told a news conference. The people were very polite, they looked after us ever so well.

"Now we want to continue until the end", he said.

"When Gareth came in it was the first time we relived it".

"You will highlight certain players and positions they're likely to take".

Giroud, 31, kept his starting spot for France in the semi-final clash and has started five of his nation's six matches in the tournament so far.

"We did what the coach asked of us, we were competitive in every aspect of the match, and we finally scored from a set piece".

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