Roberto Martinez's swashbuckling Belgium side head into Tuesday's semi-final with familiar foes France as the World Cup's leading scorers, but their old rivals have evolved as the tournament has progressed and will also be full of confidence.
France welcomed Blaise Matudi back into midfield following suspension and retained their habitual 4-2-3-1 system, while Belgium returned to a system of three central defenders, with the powerful Axel Witsel, Moussa Dembele, Nacer Chadli and Marouane Fellaini in the middle of the park in what was virtually a 3-2-4-1 formation.
Belgium dramatically came from two goals down to defeat Japan 3-2 in their round of 16 clash before producing one of the most complete displays of the tournament in knocking out favourites Brazil 2-1 in the quarter-finals.
France have reached the World Cup semifinals six times. He said after that match that there he was disappointed that they were done in by a set-piece.
"We have shown that we have a very nice team", he said. The goalkeeper made some high profile blunders for Tottenham last season, as well as some for France in the friendly game prior to the competition.
Les Bleus are headed to the World Cup final.
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The slick Belgium side, which boasts the talents of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, are the only team to have won all their matches in Russian Federation and are the top scorers, with 14 goals.
The first yellow card of the game was issued to Belgium's Eden Hazard, who pulls Matuidi to ground to prevent a France counter-attack and shortly following was Alderweireld who picked up Belgium's second booking.
Everything was slayed to perfection by Roberto Martinez's men in the previous match, finally meeting expectations set by Federation Internationale de Football Association and the judging eyes of the world. The PSG right-back received his second yellow card against Brazil.
Belgium had won all five matches in Russian Federation coming into their meeting with the French, and had scored 14 goals in the process.
Both sides know what is like to turn results around during the current World Cup campaign.
Even through the first 30 minutes in St. Petersburg, this side had looked different, carving out chances and containing France's counterattacks.
There is no question we are about to witness a very open game.
"There is a big rivalry between France and Belgium, it's like a derby match", the France striker said. "On the personal front it is with great pleasure that I'm going to see him tomorrow".
"We could easily have frozen".