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Bruises and bumps in the spine of Les Bleus, but is Benzema falling out a lucky accident? | 2022 football world cup

An old wisdom says: know your enemies. Under that motto we fille the major competitors of the Red Devils for the world title in Qatar. What are their major themes? Who should we keep an eye on? And what do the experts expect? Today’s turn: defending champion France.

It could be a game of “spot the difference”.

Four years after the world title, not everything has changed, but significantly much has changed at the French national team.

Crucial as a buffer for the defense was the midfield. But Kante and Pogba? Now both injured.

That duo is not the only one that was sucked into the injury wave at Les Bleus. There are also doubts about Varane’s fitness. Annoying since Kimpembe had already dropped out with an injury.

And then on the eve of the World Cup, Golden Ball striker Karim Benzema also fell out with a thigh injury.

My God…

That is a lot of dents and bumps in the backbone of the typing team. France must therefore hope that up-and-coming talents such as Tchouaméni, Camavinga, Fofana and Konaté will immediately be on the highest stage.

We know that is the case with great star Mbappé. Oddly enough, Benzema’s failure may have been a lucky accident for him.

At the European Championships, the chemistry between the two turned out not to be great. Due to the absence of the Golden ball, Deschamps will now probably have one line that looks the same as in the blessed year 2018 puts Mbappé, Griezmann in Giroud.

Another thing: a world champion couldn’t follow himself for 60 years.

The man on the front pages

National coach Didier Deschamps divides, but will he still rule after the World Cup?

The man who gave France the world title now sees his country divided into two groups. Part of the French supporters just want to see the trophy return to “familiar ground”, regardless of the beauty of football.

Others are less fans of Deschamps’s conservative playing style. They secretly – but certainly not too loudly – yearn for sporting failure. If the world title does not follow, the national coach will have to go and they will see attacking football again at Les Bleus.

Getting results is exactly what Deschamps was known for… Until the last Nations League campaign. In a group with Austria, Croatia and Denmark, France was just able to save its skin with 5 out of 18.

The front pages will soon provide clarity about the future of the French national coach.

All or nothing for Didier Deschamps.

The talent you don’t know yet

21 years old and already a fixture with the leader in the Premier League. William Saliba is growing rapidly towards his highest level.

The tall defender kept a clean sheet in half of his Premier League appearances. He himself also scores points with the fans with his sharp defensive actions, goals (2) and an assist.

The Gunners supporters are so fond of the young Frenchman that they made a song for him – not very complicated, but catchy. To the tune of “Tequila” from The Champs, the Emirates coos with pleasure.

Did you already know?

The soap around the Pogba brothers surprised friend and foe last summer. Mathias accused Paul of going to a witch doctor to injure star player Kylian Mbappé.

A bizarre story that the France international vehemently denied. Paul Pogba admitted not much later that he called on the doctor, but that was to help a humanitarian organization that saves children.

Mbappe? He had a good laugh about it. The PSG striker believes his “friend and colleague” word over Mathias and the media. Although the “pogba curse” will lurk around the corner when things go wrong with France.

What is the prognosis of the local expert?

Adrien Candau – journalist at So Foot

“Everyone agrees that individually we have very good players, together with Brazil the best of the whole World Cup, I think. But we don’t really know what the collective is capable of.”

“The last matches were not good. The previous World Cup was clear, Deschamps played with 4 defenders. Now he changes a lot from 4 to 3 defenders and back again. Tactically there is still some ambiguity, so we don’t know what to expect on that level.”

Getting the defensive organization back in order can become our strength to go far again.

“We still think he will approach it the same way as 4 years ago: with a defensive organization and then use Mbappé’s speed on the counter.”

“There are of course many injuries. As a result, the midfield with Tchouameni, Rabiot and perhaps Fofana will lack creativity, I think. Although they are good players.”

“If we get the defensive organization back in order like in 2018, that could be our strength to go far again.”

What does the expected starting eleven look like?

*If Varane does not get fit in time for the first group match(s), Upamecano and Koundé are possible substitutes.

Results last 5 matches

  • Denmark – France: 2-0 (Nations League)
  • France – Austria: 2-0 (Nations League)
  • France – Croatia: 0-1 (Nations League)
  • Austria – France: 1-1 (Nations League)
  • Croatia – France: 1-1 (Nations League)

France’s group matches

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