Belgium and France kick off the Semis

France and Belgium have emerged from the tough half of the draw contrary to many’s expectations.

France disposed of Argentina and Uruguay  and Belgium clinically removed Brazil. Both teams have strong English Premier League representation, their teams have that familiar feel. Perhaps France have the edge with their emerging youth. Should be an interesting game, though, with such a prize on offer, decent football sometimes disappears when the fear of losing creeps in.

Parts of Belgium speak Dutch, parts French and some also speak German.

Marouane Fellaini’s favourite footballer is Maradona.

Hugo Lloris thinks a spud will win the World Cup. Going out on a limb there, fella, ain’t ya?

Olivier Giroud’s favourite song is by Coldplay


70 Responses to Belgium and France kick off the Semis

  1. chas says:

  2. Eddie says:

    war in Cuffley

  3. Eddie says:

    Bye Jack, good luck son, I wish you all the best, especially good health

  4. LBG says:

    An Arsenal man who will always be welcome back. Good luck.

  5. RC78 says:

    Belgium edges France, player by player:

    Courtois > Lloris – B
    Alder > Pavard – B
    Varane > Vermaelen – F
    Kompany > Umtiti – B
    Verthongen > Hernandez – B
    Pogba > Chadli – F
    Kante > Witsel – F
    Fellaini > Matuidi – B
    De Bruyne > Griezmann – B
    Lukaku > Giroud – B
    Hazard > Mbappe – B

    Belgium: 8 vs France: 3

    I think Belgium has to be the favorite – there is belief, momentum and also they are playing well, positive football.

    France will be edgy. Our chance will be if Belgium defense is having an off day, which is possible. If I were Deschamps, I would rather play:
    Lloris – Pavard, Varane, Umtiti (i d play Kimpembe but no chance), Hernandez – Matuidi, Nzonzi, Kante – Pogba – Mbappe, Giroud

    I would drop Griezmann to the bench and would bring in Nzonzi, move Pogba up the field. We need to control the midfield to have a chance in this match. Nzonzi can also match both Fellaini and Witsel in the air and so can Pogba. This can be a match of free kicks and corners making the difference rather than open play goals.

    Allez les Bleus but I have a feeling that Belgium may edge the French because their starting 11 is better. Let us see

  6. VP of Oz says:

    RC78, who are you kidding. France is favourite to go through.
    They have as much chance of losing as England have of winning

  7. VP of Oz says:

    by the way, that was not a flippant throw away comment. Thats after 2 days and many hours of analysis…

  8. RC78 says:

    VP – let us see. Potential wise we are better BUT in terms of actual confirmed talent, Belgium is ahead of us. I will not say the same in 2 years at the Euro but for now Belgium has a more accomplished team than us

  9. RC78 says:

    There is a poll on who has been the best WC player so far.
    Here is my pick per position:

    Courtois – Trippier, Maguire, Verthongen, Young – Modric, Kante – Mbappe, De Bruyne, Hazard – Kane

    Player of the tournament so far for me: Modric

  10. VP of Oz says:

    RC78, as a GK, I would have chosen Subasic. He has been huge and to save 3 penalties in a shoot-out, has only ever been done once before.

    Also in your team I would have chosen Ronaldo over Kane. You would sell more shirts and make more money in Marketing

  11. RC78 says:

    VP – I hesitated for the GK as Pickford and Subasic were also great but I think that Courtois is just more polished and commanded his area when needed especially against Brazil.

    Kane is the best scorer – I had to have him in there although it could also have been Lukaku.

    wHAT ABOUt your best player so far?

  12. wally says:

    Russia puts that player by player analysis in the trash bin doesn’t it. Grit/fight is not measurable. It’s a team game.

  13. VP of Oz says:

    RC, my best player is Modric. He drives the whole Croatian team. No nonsense, just a desire and determination to win.

    I would have
    Pavard, Ramos, Pique, Hernandez
    Modric, De Bruyne
    Ronaldo, Mbappe, Messi, Cavani

    it would be chaos, but fun to watch

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    That’s interesting VP not a single English player – yet they have a 1 in 4 chance of being the World Cup winners.

  15. I saw Lehmann through the fence says:

    Three english defenders – the only good attacking teams they met so far are a second string Belgium and Colombia (Both teams missing their major stars.) Most of Kanes goals came against Panama and Tunisia, two of the weakest teams of the tournament, three were from the penalty spot and one must have been the flukiest goal so far – and the goals were not deciding games either. Lukaku has been so much better, for instance, and a player like unsung Griezmann is contributing to the whole team in a way that Kane is not close to.

    De Bruyne, Messi and Ramos – what tournament are we talking about? De Bruyne was good in the quarter final but has been struggling to be visible at all in some games. Hazard: better by a mile. Ramos was not good at all against the russians and the spanish defense was shaky in all their games. Messi made a fantastic goal but could not handle Iceland or Croatia, and against France he was inferior to most french players!

    That’s the way I see it.

    The only players that can be (almost) certain to be a part of my best eleven at this moment are:

    From Sweden with love!

  16. RC78 says:

    I saw – agree with your assessment except Griezmann

  17. RC78 says:

    Finally, Lucas Torreira joins Arsenal.

    New recruits so far:

    Leno – Lichtensteiner, Sokratis – Guendouzi, Torreira

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Afternoon all

    Thanks Chas.

    Understand Jack going, but sad to see a Gunner leaving.

    On an exceedingly bright side, Torreira. Wow. Although I’ve heard the rumours, I also saw his performance against Portugal and thought..”there goes that one to a top six European side”. So really really pleased. Huge signing

  19. RC78 says:

    Ronaldo joins Juventus after 9 years at Real Madrid and 16 trophies

  20. mickydidit89 says:


    Blimey. So who do Real go for to replace him?

    Re the WC semis. I reckon France have the potential if they click on the day v Belgium the settled team. No idea who I think will win, but if England were to get past Croatia, then I wouldn’t give them much hope against either.

  21. Eddie says:

    so we have 5 new players. if they are all starting XI I expect an exodus by the end of summer

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah ha, the chairman woman of Cuffley.

    At least one of the five new is eligible for the Under 12’s, so I doubt they are all 1st XI starters. In fact, I’d say two are. Torreira and Sokratis

    Tell us, how does The Prediction Piranha from Cuffley see the semis going?

    Tonight is the final as far as I see, although I realise it’s a funny old game

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    I think Belgium are the cream of the crop but it is literally going to be a shoot out and may well be decided on penalty kicks.

  24. chas says:

    Madrid will go for Kane if he’s the best striker in the tournament.

  25. chas says:

    England v Croatia must be the weakest semi in a World Cup for donkey’s, therefore it stands to reason that the winner will come from there!

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    Kane? That’d be sad wouldn’t it? 🙂

    A shoot out eh GN5. Sounds like my sort of stuff 🙂

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    It seems incredible but Arsenal’s first pre season game is only 16 days away – they play Atletico Madrid on July 26th in Singapore.

  28. RC78 says:

    Mahrez to join Man City – 60 Mln pounds

    Today – three major signings announced: Ronaldo to Juve, Mahrez to City and Torreira to Arsenal

    As for Real – currently, they still have Bale, Asensio and Benzema. Lopetegui likes to play as a 4-3-1-2 so you could end up having:

    Navas – Carvalaj, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo – Modric, Casemiro, Kross – Isco – Benzema (or Asensio), Bale

    I reckon they will not replace Ronaldo. They are just building the next generation team and will invest in youth for the next 2 years or so. Only exception would be a Top Player under 26 like Neymar.

    If they go galactico, they will sell Bale now and purchase Hazard.

  29. chas says:

    Ooo, I’d like to see the back of that slimy little toad, Hazard.

  30. GunnerN5 says:

    He has had a great World Cup Chas – but he is slimy.

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m intrigued to know what is happening behind the scenes at Chelsea?.

    Abramovich cannot conduct business in England.
    Conte is an unwanted Manager
    New stadium construction put on hold.
    No new signings.
    All very un-Chelsea.

    Sounds like creeping stagnation to me.

  32. RC78 says:

    Aas for exodus in our squad, let us see who leaves but I can see at least 10 players leaving, including 3 sales or let gos

  33. RC78 says:

    Belgium brings in Dembele as Right Wing Back. The only surprise.

    Courtois – Dembele, Alde, Kompany, Verthongen, Chadli – De Bruyne, Witsel, Fellaini, Hazard – Lukaku

    Lloris – Pavard, Varane, Umti, Hernandez – Pogba, Kante, Matuidi – Mbappe, Giroud, Griezmann

  34. GunnerN5 says:

    Current Arsenal team

    Ist team
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    Hector Bellerin
    Petr Cech
    Calum Chambers
    Mohamad Elneny
    Rob Holding
    Alex Iwobi
    Sead Kolasinac
    Laurent Koscielny
    Alexandre Lacazette
    Bernd Leno
    Stephan Lichtsteiner
    Ansley Maitland-Niles
    Konstantinos Mavropanos
    Henrikh Mkhitaryan
    Nacho Monreal
    Shkodran Mustafi
    David Ospina
    Mesut Ozil
    Sokratis Papastathopohulos
    Aaron Ramsey
    Lucas Torreira
    Danny Welbeck
    Granit Xhaka

    On loan
    Chuba Akpom
    Takuma Asano
    Joel Campbell
    Carl Jenkinson
    Emiliano Martinez
    Lucas Perez
    Jeff Reine- Adelaide

  35. RC78 says:

    Based on line-ups, France has no chance 😦

  36. Big Raddy says:

    I really want France to win which m eans they have little chance.

    The midfield battle will be fascinating

  37. Eddie says:

    come on you Froggies!!!!

  38. Big Raddy says:

    The French national anthem is simply awesome

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    Good heavens, Erik.

    Bit late. Apols.

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    Which of these sides would England (if) have the best (nay) chance again from the point of view of playing style?

  41. Eddie says:

    i know the whole belgian team, most of the French players, 1 Croatina, 4 Polish and 5 English. I should have supported Belgium from the start

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Bemlgium looking good. Get a grip France – lump it up to Giroud

  43. Eddie says:

    that’s add, one of my comments addressed to raddy and Didit disappeared. wasn’t important anyway

    2 excellent goalies spoilt the game, otherwise it could have been 3:2

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha, love the thinking Eddie.

    I’d ban goalkeepers altogether. Ruin the game frankly 🙂

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    indeed, at last

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    wow Mbappe super cool touch

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Out of all the greats, Maradona, Messi, the Ronaldos etc, Mbappe is the most Pele’esque

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Love the idea of no goalies

    Come on France

  49. Eddie says:

    no!! come on Belgium, we want extra time

  50. Eddie says:

    fucking Lloris and his saves

  51. LBG says:

    Why are ex professionals so praise worthy of players who “take one for the team” ie cheat openly, breaking down often the most gloriously skilful moves in football. Yet get on their holier than thou high horses when a player goes down “dramatically” when fouled. Diving is cheating,” professional” fouls ,(what an anachronism) are cheating, being fouled is clearly against the laws.

  52. Eddie says:

    Pogba wants to go clubbing 🙂

  53. mickydidit89 says:


    That is a very sensible and well thought out comment, which looks somewhat out of place amongst three idiots discussing banning goalkeepers

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    No, not pressure, Vertonghen is a twat

  55. Eddie says:

    happy for Ollie

  56. LBG says:

    Thanks Micky, I simply cannot stand Murphy, for his arrogance, his I’ve seen what happened and noone else has, etc, etc, etc. Sorry, he’s a f****** w*****.

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m honestly not trying to have a go at Ollie, but I do not understand how Lacazette doesn’t suit their style of play better.

  58. chas says:

    I reckon we’ve got more chance of beating them french faggots anyway. No offence RC. ☺

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Right. Justice done

    Nowf for an England win tomorrow and we are set up for all proper final.

    Agincourt.. Crecy etc

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Do you think we could propose a no goalie final.?

    Lloris and Pickford would ruin the entertainment

  61. chas says:

    I’m sensing that if (and it’s a bloody massive if) we get through, there could be a virgin BR pre-match – for World Cup Final, no less.

  62. VP of Oz says:

    BR, Pickford wont be in the final
    He’ll playing in the game for 3rd place

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh come on VP, your lot are rubbish 🙂
    This time tomorrow you’ll be playing the “we were tired” card 🙂

  64. fred1266 says:

    Giroud really lost his touch since going to the blue side

  65. chas says:


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