Euro 2016 was disappointing for France after losing to Portugal in the final in their own backyard. But Deschamps’ team is starting to grow and mature each year. Will the World Cup this summer be heading back to France? France has been drawn in Group C along with Peru, Australia, and Denmark. It goes without saying, that France are expected to top this group with ease.
France World Cup 2018 Preview: All you need to know about Les Bleus
The One to Eleven:
France’s squad is packed up with world-class players. However, the struggle they face is playing with a sense of cohesion as opposed to a team of individuals. On paper, France’s starting eleven would be considered favorites for Russia. The one player France will be relying on is Manchester United maestro, Paul Pogba. The youngster took control in yesterday’s Manchester Derby, scoring a brace in a matter of 98 seconds. This is just a snapshot of what the midfielder is capable of. As seen in Juventus, on his day, Paul Pogba has the ability to single-handedly change the game. Despite the French team still being so young and inexperienced in International competitions, one man who is key for mentality is Hugo Lloris. The Tottenham goalkeeper has made 94 appearances for the French side, 8 in World Cups. The 31-year-old can bring the experience this side is lacking, whilst showcase the abilities that make him one of the best keepers in the world.
Deschamps is likely to set up with a back four of Djibril Sidibe, Raphel Varane, Samuel Umiti, and Lucas Digne the defense is Frances’ weakest area. However, the pair of La Liga center halves provides great protection for Lloris’ goal, whilst full backs Sidibe and Digne have the freedom to push into the midfield to bolster the attack.
A defensive midfield duo of Adrien Rabiot and N’Golo Kante is likely to control the tempo of the game. Whilst Pogba completes the midfield three, playing in a more advanced role.
The French frontline is one to fear. The likes Kylian Mbappe, Anthony Martial and Antionne Griezemann are set to be the forwards. The blistering pace and clinical abilities in front of goal are going to prove immensely valuable in the latter stages of the competition.
Besides the immense talent that starts for France. Deschamps has an excess supply of super subs as well. Defensive reinforcements include Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny and Aymeric Laporte could be used to kill off games or if France plan to adopt a 5 at the back approach.
In the midfield, the options of Blaise Matiudi, Dimitri Payet and Nabil Fekir are all Ligue 1 options that Deschamps has at his disposable.
As if his forward options need strengthening, the likes of Thomas Lemar, Alexandre Lacazette, Olivier Giroud and Florian Thauvin are all available off the bench. It is likely that Deschamps will bring on Lemar at 70 minutes to exhaust the opposing defense while Giroud can be used as a last resort aerial threat.
A France legend of the game. In his playing days, he made 103 appearances for the French national side before hanging his boots up. Deschamps has now spent the last six years as France’s manager appearing at two major international tournaments. World Cup 2014 was his first tournament as manager and took France to the quarter-finals before losing 1-0 to Germany. He was unlikely not to taste triumph last summer as the French side just fell short at the final hurdle, losing 1-0 to Portugal in the final. Before his appointment as France manager, Deschamps was in charge of Marseille from 2009 to 2012. In his first year at Marseille, he led them to the Ligue 1 title finishing six points ahead of Lyon.
Style of play:
France uses their attacking power to their advantage playing in a 4-3-3 setup. One of the central midfielders is likely to be the pivot play right in front of the back four. The other midfielder is consistently closing down the opposition and maintaining the high press and intensity. The front three will usually feature Griezmann as the main striker but the two wide men will feed off any flick ons by the Atletico man. Kante will be the player who sits back and dictates the pace of the game whilst making sure he covers the full-backs when they push forward.
With a team like this, the French are set for some success in Russia. It looks as if Les Bleus are bound to make the semi-finals.
Leave a comment below as to how you think France will do in Russia this summer. Come back tomorrow where we will take a closer look at how Poland may fair in the World Cup.
Main image credit: