David Lee in Russia: France's watertight defence can keep a lid on Belgian trio

Lucas Hernandez and Samuel Umtiti will be key for France's rearguard when they come up against top scorers Belgium today.
Lucas Hernandez and Samuel Umtiti will be key for France's rearguard when they come up against top scorers Belgium today.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

France's well-drilled backline capable of nullifying opposition attack

France have been in energy-saving mode throughout most of the World Cup, and that will now come in handy in arguably their toughest test to date when they play Belgium in St Petersburg tonight for a place in Sunday's final.

They barely got out of first gear in the group stage before Kylian Mbappe turned on the turbocharger against Argentina in the last 16, while Edinson Cavani's absence was a key factor in their 2-0 quarter-final win over Uruguay.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2018, with the headline 'Watertight defence can keep a lid on Belgian trio'. Print Edition | Subscribe