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Belgium's royal family to attend World Cup semi-final of poor man's game

French President Emmanuel Macron will also watch today's match from the stands. It will be a step closer for either Belgium to winning their first World Cup trophy or France's second.

BS Web team & Agencies  |  St. Petersburg 

Photo: Reuters
Belgium royal couple (Photo: Reuters)

French President and King and of Belgium will come to to support their national football team during their FIFA World Cup semi-final here today.

"King and Queen (Mathilde), as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders, will arrive in to support the national team," an employee of the Belgian Consulate General in Russia's second-largest city said on Monday, reports news agency.

Belgium, who reached their first World Cup semi-finals in 32 years, will take on 1998 champions France at the Stadium on Tuesday.

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Belgium beat five-time champions 2-1 in on Friday to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals where they will face the 1998 winners France at on Tuesday.

France look to return to the final of the World Cup for the first time since 2006, while the Belgians look to confirm the promise of their 'golden generation' and reach the final for the first time.

Belgium win

The Belgians have won all five of their matches in Russia, scoring 14 goals and leaving and by the wayside. In the quarter-final against Brazil, they showed their adaptability and in the last 16, they showed their resilience by fighting back from 0-2 down against the Japanese.

Belgium coach has shown that he can make changes to his system, using a 4-3-2-1 for most of the tournament, but adapting to a 4-3-3 to exploit Brazil's weaknesses down the flanks.

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Martinez has succeeded where his predecessors failed by making the team greater than the sum of its parts. The Spaniard has shown great tactical pragmatism by setting up his side to suit the characteristics of his best players and exploit the weakness of opponents.

France 1 Argentina 0

The French drew one group game (against Denmark), but their World Cup has been one of constant progression built around goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, central defenders and Samuel Umtiti, and midfielders, N'golo Kante and

provides a focal point in attack. Add to that the pace of and Antoine Griezmann, who will also drop back to help in the middle and has a team without any apparent weaknesses.

France will have to be wary of and Kevin De Bruyne's pace on the break. Martinez and his players have already shown they can change their formation depending on their rivals and Tuesday promises to be an absorbing tactical battle.

First Published: Tue, July 10 2018. 16:36 IST