Wednesday 21 March 2018

Anthony Martial set to make international debut

The newly signed Manchester United forward is to line out for France against Portugal on Friday

Anthony Martial joined Manchester United in a record £36m deal from Monaco
Anthony Martial joined Manchester United in a record £36m deal from Monaco

New Manchester United forward Anthony Martial is expected to make his France debut when Les Bleus take on Portugal in Friday's international friendly in Lisbon.

Martial, who joined United from Monaco on transfer-deadline day on an initial £36million fee, was included in Didier Deschamps' squad for the upcoming friendlies against Portugal and Serbia.

The 19-year-old enjoyed a dream week, signing a four-year contract with the Red Devils on Monday before returning to train with his national team.

"I do not feel any particular pressure," Martial said to L'Equipe."I'm happy to have joined such a big club in England and I hope everything goes well.

"It was already a dream for me to be with Les Bleus.

"I want to prove my worth at United."

Martial does not believe leaving Monaco to play in England will affect his chances of playing at Euro 2016, a tournament his country will host.

"I will have a higher exposure at Manchester United," he said. "I see no reason why it will go wrong.

"It's true that there have been many young players that have moved to bigger clubs and some have succeeded and others not.

"But I think I'm ready."

Should Martial play at the Jose Alvalade Stadium, he will play against two former United players.

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to captain Portugal and earn his 121th cap and play alongside former United team-mate Nani in attack.

Portugal head into the encounter looking to warm up for Monday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Albania.

Fernando Santos' side leads Group I on 12 points having won four and lost one of their five qualifiers.

They are two points clear of Denmark and Albania, with the latter having a game in hand.

Portugal will be looking to improve on their home form.

A Seleccao have won just two and lost three of their last eight home encounters.

Manchester City right-back Barary Sagna is expected to earn his 50th cap with France while Real Madrid's Karim Benzema will partner Atletico's Antoine Griezmann in attack.

Portugal are without injured William Carvalho and suspended Tiago but Southampton centre-back Jose Fonte is expected to start.

Press Association

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