Martinez: France's Henry is missing ingredient for Belgium

Belgium’s players kept their eyes on the ball in training yesterday

Belgium’s players kept their eyes on the ball in training yesterdayANTHONY DIBON ICON SPORT VIA GETTY

France secured their spot in the 2018 World Cup final after defeating Belgium 1-0 in their semi-final tie at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.

The semi-final matchup of the European neighbours promises to be full of intrigue as France aim to reach the final for the first time since a Zinedine Zidane-led team did so in Germany in 2006. There was less at stake the last time these 2 went head-to-head at the World Cup, a 4-2 victory for France in the 3rd place match in 1986.

What's next: The victor will face the victor of England and Croatia in the World Cup final Sunday in Moscow.

Before England v Croatia kicks off on Wednesday, fans are treated to another potentially classic World Cup matchup; France v Belgium.

1998 World Cup victor Henry won 123 caps and scored 51 goals for France but he will be on the Belgium bench this evening.

In our more comprehensive guide for how to watch the World Cup 2018 for free, we covered all of the strategies for live streaming games. He is facing his home nation.

Martinez explained how Henry's experience of pressure moments offered something other members of the former Everton manager's staff could not.

"What we didn't have was worldwide experience, the know-how of winning a World Cup, the know-how of being a footballer expected to perform in front of the world, and knowing how you feel in those moments".

Kevin de Bruyne claims the Frenchman wants Belgium to win though.

French great Thierry Henry could hurt France's pride tonight
Ferdinand and fellow BBC pundits Alan Shearer and Jurgen Klinsmann were analysing Mbappe's performance so far in the World Cup. After ousting Brazil in the semis, Belgium go into their match up against France high in confidence.

Not only did this change help in pressurising the duo of Fernandinho and Paulinho, but it also gave playmaker Kevin De Bruyne the platform to take risks and put himself in advanced positions.

"It might be a bit hard for him but he´s working for Belgium now, he wants us to win".

Belgium have scored 14 goals in five matches and were hugely impressive in their 2-1 quarter-final victory over Brazil.

"Most of them play in the Premier League, so we know them well".

"Yes, it is weird, because he is French and that he will be on the bench of the opposition", Didier Deschamps said on Sunday morning on French television.

"He is lucky to be with a team with a fine generation of players". They won it all in 1998. Harry Maguire's brilliant aerial performances so far this tournament, culminating in him winning 22 headers against Sweden and Colombia, would suggest Jordan Pickford's goal won't be regularly troubled.

Paul Pogba who looked shackled previously, has started to dominate games, while N'Golo Kante has been at his destructive best, snuffing out potential attacks by the dozen.

France captain and keeper Hugo Lloris, who played for two seasons with Henry in the national team, said: "He is a huge player and a great gentleman of French football".

Croatia can count on Real Madrid´s midfield talisman Luka Modric, named man of the match three times in Russian Federation, but his teammate Andrej Kramaric says England´s lack of superstars is what makes them a cohesive unit. 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.

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