France and Belgium will face-off in the first World Cup semi-final on Tuesday as the highest ranked team left in the competition take on the favourites.
Les Blues are the bookmakers’ tip to win the competition after ousting South American pair Argentina and Uruguay in the knock-out stage.
The Red Devils meanwhile have the only 100% record in the tournament and saw off Brazil in the quarter-finals in impressive fashion.
The battle between two of the best midfielders at this World Cup semi-final could critical to the final outcome. Many believe Kante could scoop the player of the tournament award after playing a key role in-front of the French back-four.
Finally a balance between himself and Paul Pogba has been struck to allow the Chelsea man to be combative, and give the record Manchester United signing freedom to go forward.
N’Golo Kante vs Kevin de Bruyne
Many believe Kante could scoop the player of the tournament award after playing a key role in-front of the French back-four. Finally a balance between himself and Paul Pogba has been struck to allow the Chelsea man to be combative, and give the record Manchester United signing freedom to go forward.
Meanwhile, De Bruyne started the tournament in a deep role but reverted to a more attacking guise against Brazil, with deadly affect. His thumping goal proved to be the winner in Kazan but with the license to play the role of creator Belgium are a totally different prospect going forward.
Raphael Varane vs Eden Hazard
The Real Madrid centre-back is another player of the tournament contender. Having recovered from a string of injuries in the last few years he is finally performing at a level many expected.
The combination of pace, strengthen and positional awareness makes him arguably the best all-round defender in the world, and that showed as he bullied Luis Suarez in the quarter-final.
Hazard meanwhile might have enjoyed a quiet tournament thus far but against Brazil he showed flashes of the quality we seldom saw during last season’s Premier League campaign.
Questions still remains over his ability to perform on the very biggest of stages, but his quarter-final showing suggests he could be coming into form at just the right time.
If Varane is asked to pick up Hazard – his pace and power suggests he might be – then it will be a fascinating battle in the Belgian final third. The Chelsea winger’s strength is having time to turn and run at defenders and if Varane gives him the opportunity to do just that, France could be in danger.
Didier Deschamps vs Roberto Martinez
Perhaps the most important battle in the World Cup semi-final could come off the pitch between two of the most chastised figures prior to this World Cup. Both men were ready to be savaged upon their respective nations failing in this World Cup.
Tactically naïve, lacking man-management skills and laying the ground work for a mid-summer mutiny were among the various accusations.
The reality has been somewhat different. France have grown into the tournament well and having nervously bypassed an easy-looking group, the wins over Argentina and Uruguay were impressive.
Deschamps’ main achievement has been balancing his attack and midfield to get the best out of his star players. Pogba has been titanic at times, while Kylian Mbappe’s status as a teenage superstar has been underlined.
Belgium were accused of being under-cooked ahead of the tournament after playing some below-par opponents in the lead up to the summer, but they have proven everyone wrong en route to the last four.
16th July 2018
15th July 2018
Clement Adeyi, Osogbo Ahead of the July 19 primary election by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to determine the party’s candidate for the September 22 governorship poll, the Central Working Committee (CWC) yesterday suspended party chairman, Gboyega Famodun, and the Secretary, Rasak Salinsile. Daily Sun gathered the suspension was against the backdrop of the resolution…
— 16th July 2018
Agaju Madugba, Katsina At least 25 persons have been confirmed killed while an unidentified number of others declared missing as flood swept through parts of Jibia of Jibia local government area, Katsina State, after a rainfall, in the early hours of Monday. The District Head of Jibia, Alhaji Rabe Rabi’u, who confirmed the report noted that…
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Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo The Taraba state Commissioner of police CP David Akinremi was on Monday morning attacked by irate youths at Tudunwada area of Jalingo. The state Command’s Public Relations Officer ASP David Misal told Newsmen in Jalingo that the Commissioner had gone to the area with a team of officers to restore normalcy following…
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Bimbola Oyesola Barely two weeks after Brookings Institution reportedly rated Nigeria as the poverty capital of the world with the highest number of extremely poor people on earth, the Federal Government’s move to checkmate the scourge appears to be receiving flak from a wide spectrum of Nigerians who fear the Muhammadu Buhari administration may be…
— 16th July 2018
Jude Okoro, Calabar The Federal Government has decried the incessant communal clashes between Ukelle community in Yala local government area of Cross River and their Izzi neighbours in Ebonyi state. The government said crisis has not only affected the farming communities , but has far reaching consequences on food security in the country. Minister of…
Entertainment— 15th July 2018
Christy Anyanwu Model, entrepreneur, former Miss Face of Nigeria and reigning Miss Africa World, Uche Umeagukwu recently returned to Nigeria from her base in the United States, garnering honours and accolades in droves. Read also: Miss America beauty pageant no longer judges on beauty, scraps swimsuit While in Nigeria, the queen and her team toured…
South-West Report— 11th July 2018
… As 192 Battalion officers clean up Ogun community Laide Raheem, Abeokuta In commemoration of the Nigerian Army Day celebration on July 6, men and officers of 192 Battalion (Rear), Owode-Yewa, recently embarked on a massive environmental sanitation exercise at Atan Junction, along Sango-Owode-Idi-Iroko Road in Ogun State. The soldiers, who were led by their…
Abuja Metro— 11th July 2018
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Oriental News— 15th July 2018
Peter Anosike The President of United Igbo Traders of Nigeria (UNITRAN), Chief Chris Eberego Ezeh, has given reasons why Enugu State is relatively peaceful. According to him, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has created a new phenomenon in governance that has engendered peace. Speaking in an interview with Sunday Sun, the Ukehe-Igbo Etiti, Enugu State-born business mogul…
Features— 15th July 2018
5 aircraft ready for takeoff Dec 19 Operators decry secrecy in deal Louis Ibah An air of excitement mixed with anxiety is currently blowing across the Nigerian aviation airspace following announcements last week that the country would be taking delivery of five new aircraft by December 19, 2018 in readiness for the launch of a…
Literary Review— 7th July 2018
Gold rush and a bucket of tears Henry Akubuiro The last thing I imagined when I saw Ambrose Madu’s book, Raising the Dust Crime: Who is Involved? was a work of fiction. It didn’t sound like one. I thought it was a book on either law, criminology or psychology, not until I leafed through the…
Lifeline— 13th July 2018
Tessy Igomu With a scowl on his face, Elendu Uche, a businessman, shook his head slowly, letting out a deep sigh. Sitting behind the wheel of his Honda Camry, he was soaked to the skin with sweat as the afternoon sun bared its fangs ferociously. His frustration was palpable and he was not making an…
Education Review— 16th July 2018
Fred Ezeh, Abuja The Federal Government has confirmed that, barring any last minute change, it will host regional conference on education, in Abuja, later this year. The conference would afford all stakeholders the opportunity to showcase success story in the development of education in their respective countries. Government said a desk office had been raised…
TSWeekend— 6th July 2018
Tosin Ajirire Lagos came to a standstill on Tuesday, as Afrobeat king, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, hosted President Emmanuel Macron of France to an epic show at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos. In this exclusive interview conducted shortly before the show, the musician opened up on why the French president’s visit has vindicated his dad, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti….
Opinion— 16th July 2018
Ebere Wabara Early in March, the “people of Ukwa Ngwa”, according to this medium’s report, unanimously adopted Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as their consensus candidate for the 2019 governorship election in Abia State. Just one germane question: who are the constituents of this fabled “Ukwa-Ngwa people” phraseology? Read also: 2019: Ukwa Ngwa adopts Ikpeazu for second…
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