Henry faces loyalty test: France icon is Belgium's secret weapon

These are the semi-final matchups at the FIFA World Cup (SCHEDULE)

It's going to be France-England according to Whelan

Speaking at a press conference at Krestovsky Stadium, Deschamps admitted that Kante will be key, but that it is the case each game he is involved in. "There will be some tweaks, though, which will suit us better".

"We will need to anticipate (Mbappe) and be well-positioned. We can only be ourselves and we already have time to use this World Cup as an advantage with the newest generations".

Deschamps revealed that he has prepared for a number of different scenarios against Belgium on Tuesday, but that Les Bleus have been doing that since their arrival in Russian Federation anyway.

"Belgium are in a forward gear", said Deschamps. He is an obvious, natural role model for any forward, and the ideal one for, say, a precious, strong pacey striker who, like him, was born on the outskirts of Paris, and, like him, served his apprenticeship at Monaco and, like him, scored crucial goals to galvanise a World Cup campaign. Will they do something similar against us? It is a possibility.

"But we are ready".

The Monaco forward has often been compared to former France worldwide Thierry Henry, who now serves as an assistant coach with Belgium. "I think his heart will be split tomorrow because before anything he remains French".

"Kevin De Bruyne is a modern playmaker in the fact that he goes even quicker than what you can see, " Martinez said. "It is a hard situation - freaky - it is not easy for him".

Now it is his job to halt the run of his home nation. He knew very well that this was a possibility. "Personally, it will be of great pleasure to see him again on Tuesday".

Goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris echoed Deschamps' sentiments on Henry and called the occasion "special". A former English Premier League manager, Martinez wanted Henry to not only teach Belgium's players the finer points of the game but, perhaps more importantly, he wanted him to talk about winning with a team that had been weighed down by expectations. "He is there as part of his education to be a coach".

Much like their opponents, Les Bleus also boast of an arsenal of assassins up front.

"The players have been working together extraordinarily well for many years, and they deserve to be exactly where they are today", Martinez told ESPN Sport. "This current crop of Belgian players knows each other and they play at some of the top clubs", he said. "We have players with huge potential, though, and we still do not know their limits".

Hazard's willingness and ability to carry the ball under pressure, jinking past helpless defenders, was in evidence as Belgium claimed their greatest-ever World Cup scalp by beating Brazil in the quarter-finals.

In typical Martinez style, Belgium's ultra-fluid attacking lines make them wide-open defensively, a situation that isn't helped by the presence of Alex Witsel at the base of midfield and Vincent Kompany in defence.

Belgium struggled against Japan when defending quick and mobile players.

Since Le Bleus' title success at the 1998 World Cup on home soil, Le Bleus are yet to have their hands on the title, though they came close at the 2006 edition but missed out in a dramatic penalty shootout against eventual victor Italy.

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