Man United duo Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial all smiles in France training

by Leo Nieboer

Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial were pictured in a good spirits ahead of France’s World Cup qualifier with Belarus on Tuesday night.

Martial claimed a much-needed first goal for France in a 3-1 over Italy last week, sliding home after latching onto a wonderful ball from Pogba.

The world’s most expensive player, alongside providing the assist for Martial’s goal, also claimed another assist after his reverse pass found Layvin Kurwaza, who duly netted France’s third of the evening.

The Manchester United duo will hope to inflict more damage with the national side in their first World Cup qualifier in Minsk.

Martial’s goal – the perfect seal to an excellent performance for Didier Deschamps’ side – could prove to be heavily important in the context of this season. Deployed as a more defensively orientated winger, the 20-year-old has struggled to find his feet under Jose Mourinho. Man United fans will hope that Martial’s first goal since early May will act as the catalyst for rediscovering his blistering form of last season.

As for Pogba, a perennially dangerous presence in midfield, his performance against Italy added to his catalogue of domineering performances in 2016. He goes into his first ever Manchester derby in tantalising form, with the footballing world anxious to see what he can inflict on Pep Guardiola’s side.

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