First semi-finalists of FIFA World Cup to be determined today

It is here that the habitual battle between football's two dominant continents, who have produced all previous World Cup winners, will take place. The left side of the bracket was stacked with some of the world's top teams, and it did not disappoint.

- Make your daily ESPN FC Match Predictor picks! Neither team has appeared in this stadium previously. With an array of talent comparable to any in the field, what France lacked was a centerpiece - a player operating as a spiritual guide to the team's style and progress through the tournament.

Colombian pair Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca both missed penalties in the national team's failed shootout against England, and both were targeted with hateful messages according to Mail Online.

After cruising through the group stage in underwhelming fashion, France kicked through the gears thanks to Kylian Mbappe's blistering pace to blow Argentina away in a 4-3 World Cup classic in the last 16.

He added that many negative preconceived notions about Russian Federation "simply collapsed" during the tournament. Mbappe stole the spotlight from five-time FIFA Player of the Year Lionel Messi, and he emerged as a candidate to join Neymar in the conversation for who is the world's best player after Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo move on. Bovada has France as the overall favorite at +200, with Belgium slightly behind at +300. They've been excellent since then, keeping a clean sheet in three of four matches. "It's true that Gimenez and Godin know Antoine but Antoine knows them also".

But they come up against a Belgian side that does not seem to have any weaknesses and also has a multi-pronged attack that can strike at any time.

"We played against the attractive Uruguay side but we played better than them and had more control, especially in the second half", said Deschamps.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez ancknowledged the gulf in World Cup pedigree between his side and Brazil. After all, Janne Andersson's side have overcome several daunting obstacles on their way to the last eight, dating all the way back to qualification for the tournament in Russian Federation. If that happens, it'll be a duel between two of the worlds best keepers.

De Bruyne, Lukaku and Eden Hazard stood out for Belgium while goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois produced a string of excellent saves.

While Africa, Asia and North America will not be represented, dashing any hope of a revolutionary breakthrough in the eventual destination of the trophy, at least one of this year's finalists will not have reached the title decider for half a century, if at all. Ultimately I love France in the midfield, and their attacking flair could trouble a Belgian defense that has been shaky at times.

  • Stacy Allen