Do France have the quality to dislodge Germany in the World Cup?

April 12, 2017 | by | 0 Comments

Pic Attribution By mustapha_ennaimi (DSC_6129) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Didier Deschamps back in 2011 – Pic Attribution By mustapha_ennaimi (DSC_6129) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

France saw their hopes of European glory on home soil crushed by Portugal in the final of Euro 2016.

Eder scored an extra-time winner to fire Fernando Santos’ men to the title at the Stade de France, leaving Les Bleus and their legions of supporters hugely disappointed.

However, France are well placed to go one further in the 2018 World Cup, with their sights set on clinching the famous gold trophy for the first time since their manager Didier Deschamps lifted it as skipper back in 1998.

Les Bleus have made a strong start to their qualifying campaign to reach Russia next year, dropping only two points in their opening five matches.

Although they were far from convincing in their win over Luxembourg, defeating the minnows 3-1 on the road, Deschamps’ men remain three points ahead of Sweden at the top of the group.

Due to the immense depth of talent in their squad, France are backed in the online betting odds at 7/1 to clinch the World Cup for the second time.

Les Bleus are blessed with an abundance of quality players, led by Antoine Griezmann, who lit up the Euros last summer with a number of fine strikes, including a crucial brace against the Republic of Ireland.

Antoine Griezmann Photo credit NazionaleCalcio

Antoine Griezmann (Credit NazionaleCalcio)

The 26-year-old has continued his level of excellence for Atletico Madrid this term, guiding the club into the last eight of the Champions League and keeping them on pace for a top-three finish in La Liga.

Griezmann has scored 22 goals in all competitions and has forged a strong partnership with compatriot Kevin Gameiro, which can only benefit Les Bleus in the long run. He will be only 27 at the World Cup and should be at the peak of his powers to terrorise opposing defences in the tournament.

The forward will be supported by Olivier Giroud, who has a fine record at international level, along with Dimitri Payet and Gameiro. However, more excitingly for France, behind them are three exceptionally talented players in the form of Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Anthony Martial.

The trio have the potential to become superstars and will have another season under their belts to improve on their already impressive resumes.

France’s embarrassment of riches continues in the middle of the park. N’Golo Kante has established himself as the best defensive midfielder in the world due to his exploits with Leicester City and Chelsea over the past two years.

Paul Pogba is the likely candidate to start alongside the 26-year-old, although he has not made the impact he would have expected since his return to Manchester United. Such is the competition for places with Les Bleus, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Adrien Rabiot, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Thomas Lamar are also vying for selection, with the experience of Blaise Matuidi and Yohan Cabaye also on hand.

The backline is arguably France’s one area of weakness, although there are a number of players with the potential to become excellent players.

Samuel Umtiti has not taken a step forward at Barcelona, but he has another season to improve, while the experience of Laurent Koscielny will likely be available to start the tournament if Deschamps is not ready to turn to Umtiti alongside Raphael Varane on a permanent basis.

The full-back positions are stocked two deep, with Bacary Sagna and Djibril Sidibe battling it out for the starting role, while Layvin Kurzawa and Benjamin Mendy will do the same on the opposite flank.

Perhaps the only man secure in his spot is keeper Hugo Lloris, although he will be hopeful that Alphonse Areola’s progress is limited by Kevin Trapp at Paris Saint-Germain to ensure he starts in Russia.

France surely have the talent to avenge their loss in the final of Euro 2016 and take the next step to dislodge Germany from the peak of the game and clinch their second crown.

Category: Sport

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