The previous hosts of the European finals are among the top favorites for the title at the upcoming World Cup in Russia. France has the biggest variety of players in all position from all of the teams that will participate in the tournament. At every position, France has at least 2 equally good players and everyone expects to see France in the final of the World Cup. The expectations cannot be different for a team that almost had not missed a World Cup. France had been to 14 World Cups and had won the title once (World Cup 1998). Currently, as we said the French generation of players is amazing and anything else but a top-four finish will be a disaster. The group of the French national football team at the World Cup (versus Denmark, Peru, and Australia) also gives bigger chances for the Les Bleus.
HEAD COACH AND LINEUP
The head coaching position of France has always been a hard job. Many coaches were not successful in the last couple of years. For this reason, Didier Deschamps is targeting the title at the World Cup in order to keep his position even after the games in Russia. The whole nation expected a Euro title 2 years ago, but Portugal surprised everyone and won the final. Now, Deschamps and his players have a second chance to fulfill the big expectations.
As we already said, France is without a doubt the most talented team in the world. It is hard to name only one player in each line when all of the options are great, but still, there are some names that are a bit more important than others. The captain of France and the starting goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will be the key on defense. He is a great goalie, but sometimes makes horrible mistakes (for example last-minute mistake against Sweden during the qualification that led to a loss). If he does not make significant mistakes he can be classified as one of the best on his position in the whole world.
If there is any part of the French lineup that can be counted as weak, then this is the defense. There are some problems for France in here, but we believe that everything will be sorted out for the World Cup. There are many great defenders in the squad, but the one that makes the difference is Laurent Koscielny. In our opinion, without him, the French defense will be not on a top level. We are sure that Koscielny’s performance at the World Cup will be great and if France finds the right partners for him on defense, it will be hard for the French opponents to score goals.
Surely Paul Pogba is one of the most expensive players and the world and his presence in the squad would be helpful, but the key player in the French midfield line is called N’Golo Kante. He was amazing even a few years ago when he won the Premier League with Leicester City, but after his transfer in Chelsea, he just went on another level. His performance will be important if France wants to be solid on defense.
Now we come to the strongest part of the French football style. France loves to attack, France cannot play defensively. Les Bleus has more than 10 great players (wingers and strikers) but one of them is a bit more valuable than the others. Antoine Griezmann is the next best player in the world after Messi and Ronaldo and for this reason, he is the key player in the whole French squad. At the beginning of the season Griezmann had some problems with his form, but now he is in top shape. There will be no surprise if he becomes the goal scorer of the World Cup, France wins the title and later on, we see Antoine as the winner of the Golden Ball.
STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
The biggest strength of France is the attack. France can concede few goals and still over score you. There is a huge variety for France in offense and almost all players in the midfield and in the attack can score. Sounds like a contender for the title?!
Just like in every team in the world, France also has some weaknesses. Regardless of the fact that even on defense France has great players, the teams usually concede goals easily. Deschamps target number one in the months before the World Cup will be to strengthen the defense since we all know the old proverb “defense wins tournaments…’’.
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The fixtures for France are not that important, especially in the group stage. In all groups of the tournament, France would have been the favorite for the top spots. Still, it will be helpful for the team that the group opponents are slightly weaker. France can use the group stage as preparation for the clashes in the later stages of the tournament. We would most likely see some different French squads during the games against Australia (June 16th), Peru (June 21st) and Denmark (June 26th). We do not have a doubt that France will be first in this group and for this reason, it will be interesting to see who is going to be the ‘’setback’’ in the next round for France. The possible options are Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, and Nigeria. All these teams are dangerous and for this reason, France must play day by day and step by step before they reach the deciding stages of the tournament.