And then there were four. The World Cup goes at a rapid pace, and at the end of this week we will have a new world champion. France are the favourites, without playing their very best to reach the semis, although the 4-3 Round of 16 win over Argentina came with some nervous moments.
The French take on the dangerous Belgium, who are targeting their first ever World Cup final. Belgium, although full of quality themselves, produced the latest shock of the tournament when they dumped out five-time champions Brazil in the quarter-final. Was this the Belgians ditching their underachievers tag and announcing themselves as World Cup contenders?
France and Belgium do battle on Tuesday in Saint Petersburg. RealSport predicts who could be in line for a Man of the Match ratings boost in that match on FIFA World Cup Ultimate Team. You can vote for your choice on the EA Sports FIFA website after the match, with the chosen players updated cards available in packs from the FUT store and from challenges in the World Cup version of Ultimate Team.
Kylian Mbappe (OVR 87 – 89)
Kylian Mbappe is firmly in the running for the Golden Ball at the World Cup, but you feel he still needs another big performance to secure the prize. The Frenchman has scored three goals in the World Cup so far, with his brace against Argentina sealing his spot in the world class bracket.
He faces a tough prospect against a three-man Belgian defence, against three of the best defenders in world football. Mbappe’s pace and licence to drift in from the flank could cause them serious trouble however, and the forward will look to break through the channel inside the wing-back to get in behind.
Keep an eye on: Antoine Griezmann (OVR 91)
Paul Pogba (OVR 86 – 89)
After receiving plenty of criticism with Manchester United in the Premier League last season, Paul Pogba has shown his quality out in Russia. The central midfielder has kept things simple in the French midfield, linking up superbly with N’Golo Kante (OVR 89) to keep Les Bleus ticking.
Despite his impressive showings, Pogba is still lacking a goal or an assist this tournament. In their toughest game so far, France will need their midfield creator. Putting one on a plate for one of their many attacking threats should be his minimum target.
Keep an eye on: Olivier Giroud (OVR 86)
Kevin De Bruyne (OVR 92 – 93)
Kevin De Bruyne was stifled playing in a midfield pairing for Belgium, and after calls to move him into a more advanced position, coach Roberto Martinez did so. De Bruyne was almost playing as a striker at times against Brazil, and perhaps it was that element of surprise that allowed Belgium to take control of the game.
De Bruyne’s strike against Brazil was delightful, and if he can add to that against France, he could make a late bid for the Golden Ball award. The Manchester City star is one of few who can unlock a strong French defence which is supported by the irritating N’Golo Kante.
Keep an eye on: Eden Hazard (OVR 93)
Romelu Lukaku (OVR 87 – 89)
Romelu Lukaku scored three goals in his first two games of the World Cup, but in his failure to add to that, he has seen England’s Harry Kane (OVR 90) take a three-goal lead in the race for the Golden Boot. If Lukaku has any plans to catch him, he simply must score against France.
Expect him to line up towards the right side once again for Belgium, hitting the channels. France left back Lucas Hernandez (OVR 79) is not blessed with pace, and Lukaku could target that along with the dynamic threats of teammates De Bruyne and Eden Hazard (OVR 93).
Keep an eye on: Marouane Fellaini (OVR 84)