France: Lloris, Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez, Kante, Pogba, Mbappe, Griezmann, Tolisso, Giroud
Uruguay: Muslera; Caceres, Gimenez, Godin, Laxalt; Nandez, Torreira, Vecino, Bentancur; Suarez, Stuani
France-Uruguay/ Brazil-Belgium Q & A
Can Uruguay beat France without Cavani ?
I don’t know. It’s lucky for France that Cavani of PSG is not playing against them this afternoon., Very lucky .
Because Suarez and Cavani are so good together?
Spectacular together. Combative. Proven warriors who have win many battles., Very rare any pair to combine and battle as they do. A pair of world class gladiators who can work in t tandem, for the team.
Diego Godin obviously knows Griezmann. But can he contain a flying antelope like Mbappe?
The whole team has to concentrate to stop Kylian Mbappe, the most explosive teenager striker we’ve seen for years. And Deschamps is a belt-and braces coach who prefers to counter-attack anyway, employing breaks by Pobga, Mbappe and Griezmann. And maybe a full back.
Is tonight’s game about Hazard v Neymar?
Only if Hazard scores two goals and Neymar gets three. The Belgians seem to be a chilled-out squad with no big internal issues.
Favourite game so far.?
Japan 2 Belgium 3 with all the goals in the second half and Japan taking a 2-0 lead. A classic World Cup match. If Japan had been able to control the game for 20 minutes and protect their two-goal lead they might have scraped home. In the end they lost to a more savvy team.
Expecting Brazil to win tonight?
To beat Belgium, Brazil will have to improve. And they might do that. Fernandinho is a more all-round footballer than the injured Casemiro, who is more like a bodyguard. Being a left-sided team, Brazil will welcome Marcelo’s return. He orchestrates the attacks towards Neymar. But maybe the Belgians can attack that flank. Neymar is such a self-obsessed idiot that I’ve not warmed to Brazil as I normally would
Brazil keep clean sheets?
So far. They have to bring back the World Cup to make their fans forget losing 7-1 to Germany, just as England have to beat Sweden to make us forget losing 2-1 to Iceland in Nice in 2016. Belgium can score, so Brazil will need two goals, I reckon. Gabriel Jesus is peripheral because Neymar dominates and plays so selfishly.
So the match narrative is just Waiting For Neymar?
I really hope it’s not like that. We will all, together across five continents, watch the match unfold, looking for our favourite players to do something special. ANR readers already know that my favourite player is KDB.
You still Dele Alli’s biggest fan?
Rate the lad very highly. But I don’t recognize him. I think (seriously) that England miss Dele Alli. That’s not him out there.
For Sweden, should he be on the bench?
Yes. Loftus-Cheek must start. We badly need that kind of player and we have to trust him. RLC has never been trusted by Chelsea, so he has to leave Chelsea. He’s good enough to play against Sweden, mature enough to play against Sweden. We need his size, his passing, his dribbling. If we are 1-0 up, we need the big man to keep the ball better. If we’re 1-0 down, we’ll still need more varied keep-ball patterns.