FIFA World Cup 2022: The reigning champions aim to defend their title in Qatar
On Wednesday, the defending champions France presented their 25-man squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022, which includes some notable players.
France may be the defending world champions and have rich pool of talents in Qatar, but their 2022 performances have shown some vulnerabilities. After an undefeated 2021 that culminated in a Nations League final victory over Spain, their most recent Nations League campaign was disappointing, as they won only one of six games in a group that included Croatia, Austria, and Denmark.
France squad for the Qatar
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Rennes), Alphonse Areola (West Ham).
Defenders: Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Manchester United), William Saliba (Arsenal), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich).
Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Jordan Veretout (Marseille).
Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan).
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙡𝙞𝙨𝙩 of 2️⃣5️⃣ Bleus selected for 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙙 𝘾𝙪𝙥 👊#FiersdetreBleus pic.twitter.com/eF1rEyjNFW— French Team ⭐⭐ (@FrenchTeam) November 9, 2022
Karim Benzema, the Real Madrid forward and Ballon d’Or winner, will head the attack line, although he has struggled with injuries this season.
However, Deschamps stated, as reported by Stadium Astro, that the French striker is aware of the importance of the World Cup and will do everything possible to be fit for the competition.
“Benzema has had a few minor injuries, but he knows that the World Cup is a very important moment,” Deschamps said after revealing his 25-man squad on Wednesday.
“He will do everything, like the whole group, to be 100 percent.”Didier Dechamps
Who will France face in the group stage
Group D of this World Cup features Denmark and France, as well as Australia and Tunisia. It is one France should win, but they will have a target on their back and there are pitfalls: the Danes will be fearless after their 2-0 victory over France in Copenhagen last month, while Australia and Tunisia squeaked through play-off matches and will feel they have nothing to lose in this tournament.
The French team has evolved from the side that lifted the trophy in Moscow four years ago, and is now without the injured Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante.. Didier Deschamps’s greatest challenge is to create a balance between seasoned World Cup champions and young talent. Deschamps must decide whether to stick with the young Real Madrid combo of Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni, who started together in the recent loss to Denmark, or to resrt to more experienced players; he has hinted at the latter “It’s a young French side,” the manager commented after the game, “where the majority of players don’t have experience at the very highest level … there’s no need to worry, having the players with international experience back will do us good.”
Deschamps has been experimenting with a back three which has utilised his array of centre-back options: young defenders like Jules Kounde, Dayot Upamecano and William Saliba would walk into most international teams but are battling for gametime with experienced world champions Presnel Kimpembe and Varane. The back-three experiment has not been totally effective, and it remains unclear how France will set up and which team is their strongest at the moment.
France can win the World Cup if everything falls into place, and they will almost certainly advance to the knockout stages. It’s a squad brimming with talent that will be too much for most. However, recent results show that they are no longer the force they once were, and Deschamps’ tinkering with systems and personnel suggests that he is still looking for the right formula for this evolving French side. Expect them to come up just short of retaining their title. Knocked out in the semi-finals.
For more Wolrd Cup news: footballyst.com
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