MX23RW : Monday, February 18 09:04:33

Team News: France, Belgium make one change apiece for World Cup semi-final

Team News: France, Belgium make one change apiece
© Reuters
Blaise Matuidi returns to France's starting lineup to face Belgium, while the Red Devils replace the injured Thomas Meunier with Mousa Dembele in their only change.

France and Belgium have made one change apiece for this evening's World Cup semi-final at the Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg.

Les Bleus welcome back Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi following the one-match ban that ruled him out of the 2-0 win against Uruguay in the last round.

Corentin Tolisso, pushed into an unfamiliar role for that quarter-final triumph four days ago, is the man to make way from the starting lineup.

That means Olivier Giroud retains his place in the forward line, alongside Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Greizmann, despite failing to register a single shot on target this tournament.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has kept changes to a minimum, too, with the injured Thomas Meunier the only player to make way from the 2-1 win against Brazil at the weekend.

The introduction of Mousa Dembele will likely mean Nacer Chadli slotting into a right wing-back role and Tottenham Hotspur ace Dembele being used on the opposite flank.

France have beaten the Red Devils in all three previous encounters in major tournaments, including on two occasions at the World Cup.

France: Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, L.Hernandez; Pogba, Kante, Matuidi; Mbappe, Giroud, Griezmann
Subs: Kimpembe, Lemar, Dembele, Tolisso, N'zonzi, Mandanda, Rami, Fekir, Sidibe, Thauvin, Mendy, Areola

Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen; Chadli, Witsel, Fellaini, Dembele; De Bruyne, Lukaku, E.Hazard
Subs: Mignolet, Casteels, Vermaelen, Boyata, Dendoncker, Tielemans, T. Hazard, Carrasco, Mertens, Januzaj, Batshuayi

Follow all of the action as it unfolds with Sports Mole's live text coverage right here.

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Eden Hazard in action for Belgium on June 2, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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