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What To Appearance Out For On World Cup Day 25

And then there were four.


Three and a bit weeks of heart-pounding, gut-wrenching, nail-biting football have come down to this.

France take on Belgium in St Petersburg on Tuesday for a place in the World Cup final, with the winners facing either Croatia or England (more on them tomorrow).

But where will the game be won and lost? And what exactly is it you should be looking out for?

Kylian Mbappé can cement his greatness


The sight of Kylian Mbappé charging straight through the Argentina defence in the round of 16 was one of the highlights of the tournament so far. In the Messi/Ronaldo era there hasn’t been place for a third superstar, but with their careers slowly entering their twilight the game is ready for The Next Big Thing.

Neymar’s catastrophic move to Paris Saint-Germain last summer and his embarrassing antics this have seen his reputation take a dive (pun intended), so with another great performance this evening, the stage is set for Kylian Mbappé to truly become the heir-in-waiting.

The 19-year-old was utterly ridiculous against the Albiceleste, but he was very much given a helping hand by the South American side’s defending. Tonight, with Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany and Toby Alderweireld likely to start, things might not be so easy.

Can N’Golo Kanté stop Kevin De Bruyne?



There may be no better head-to-head in this World Cup so far than N’Golo Kanté vs Kevin De Bruyne. The Chelsea man has, once again, been quietly brilliant for Les Bleus during the entire tournament – sweeping up all before him and creating the base from which Paul Pogba can get forward and be creative.

Here though, the 27-year-old faces a new problem: how exactly to stop Belgium’s most potent attacking threat? The Manchester City superstar has been utterly superb during the entire campaign and has brought his club form to Russia. His performance against Brazil in the quarter-finals is arguably the best individual display at the World Cup so far, and proves that manager Roberto Martínez finally understands how to use his best player.

The Red Devils brought in Marouane Fellaini to play alongside Axel Witsel in the last eight and pushed De Bruyne further forward. It paid extraordinary dividends, and expect them to do much the same here.



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