Nations League: Hazard starts for Belgium, Mbappe & Benzema lead France
- Belgium and France will face off for the Nations League semi-final
- The winner will square off against Spain in the finals
- Manager Didier Deschamps will start France in 3-4-1-2
For the UEFA Nations League semi-final on Thursday, Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has opted to give Real Madrid star Eden Hazard a start, while France have reverted to a three-back formation with Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema leading the line with Antoine Griezmann playing just behind.
The two teams will face off at the Allianz Arena, Turin, and the winner will square off against Spain in the finals of the international tournament.
Belgium topped a group with the likes of England, Denmark, and Iceland in it while France finished ahead of Portugal, Croatia and Sweden in their group.
Both the footballing heavyweights had an underwhelming EURO 2020, where Belgium were ousted by the eventual champions Italy in the quarter-finals and France lost to Switzerland on penalties in the Round of 16.
Martinez started with a three-at-the-back lineup, with Jan Vertonghen, Jason Denayer and Toby Alderweireld forming the centre-back trio.
Timothy Castagne, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans and Yannick Carrasco will play as the midfield four.
Hazard will start in the frontline alongside Kevin De Bruyne and ever-reliant Romelu Lukaku.
Manager Didier Deschamps will start France in 3-4-1-2 with Antoine Griezmann in the free role in the attacking third. Jules Kounde, Raphael Varane and Lucas Hernandez formed the centre-back lineup. Adrien Rabiot and Paul Pogba will start in the midfield with Theo Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard providing the width from the wingback position.
Griezman will play in the hole behind the two strikers - Mbappe and Benzema. The two forwards showed glimpses of their link-up play in the Euros but will hope to better the output.