Martinez: France's Henry is missing ingredient for Belgium

Martinez: France's Henry is missing ingredient for Belgium

France are seeking their first World Cup final since their defeat to Italy in 2006. But we will be ready because we have an extremely good state of mind, and it is the semi-finals in the World Cup.

Hazard moved to Lille when he was 14 and he and his brothers used to admire the French 1998 World Cup winning side.

"The players showed incredible focus and incredible togetherness". "The forwards go to see him".

The row over Henry's role has been raging for days and if Belgium win and Henry is caught on camera showing any kind of smile, we can expect him to become France's official public enemy number one. "Of course, it is a hard situation, it really is not easy for him", said Deschamps.

France coach Didier Deschamps has faced some criticism for being too pragmatic and functional despite having so many stars in his squad, but the organization of the team was superb and Belgium was largely restricted to only minor chances that were kept out by the flying Lloris. The PSG right-back received his second yellow card against Brazil.

"We've strived to be as good as we could be at worldwide level and it's taken us two years to get there".

With the likes of Mbappe, Griezmann and Giroud for France facing off against Lukaku, Hazard and De Bruyne for Belgium, there just has to be goals in this one.


Belgium have scored at least two goals in all but one game during this competition. Constant drives from deep and always being involved in the attack, Hazard earned 111.5 points against Tunisia followed by 74.5 points in the round of 16, which goes a way to highlight the winger's ability to affect a game, and therefore he easily walks into this team after a stellar tournament so far. "Probably", he said. "I have made sure my players are prepared for any scenario at the beginning of the match and during the match if it changes".

In 29 matches for France, both in the underage sides and the seniors, Pavard has not lost a game.

France have no such selection issues and are nearly certain to stick with Stuttgart's Benjamin Pavard at right back after a string of impressive displays from the 22-year-old have made him one of the tournament's stand-out defenders.

Consequently they will be looking to find Mario Mandzukic's head at every opportunity, which plays into England's hands.

"Now we want to continue until the end", he said.

"I´ve met quite a few of those players and we know exactly how they´re held and perhaps, in the modern era, that would be even crazier", Southgate told British newspapers.

From a Belgium corner, Toby Alderweireld tested Lloris with a smart shot on the turn but as the half progressed France began to create more. With the sides hard to separate on paper, how they handle the pressure, and perhaps those little nuggets of inside knowledge, could make all the difference.

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