France has shaken off the supposed Football World Cup victors curse to range the semifinals for another straight tournament, and will today be watching to complete back-to-back tournament successes something that hasn’t been completed for 60 years. They have also defied a mounting wound toll that robbed them of some of their best players in the tournament to play some outstanding football, with their attack, in particular, being widely praised by supporters and pundits.
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Kylian Mbappe presently leads the Golden Boots race with 5 goals, whilst Olivier Giroud broke the all-time French goalscoring record and nowadays has 53 international goals. They defeated England in a tight quarterfinal and nowadays face the fairytale of this Football World Cup, Morocco, who despite being doubted throughout the tournament, will offer a very stern test for Les Bleus.
France Football World Cup roster
France has maintained a similar shape in all but one of their competitions at the Football World Cup, operating in a 4-2-3-1 formation that fits in all of the attacking firepower France possesses. The only exception was their last group match against Tunisia where Didier Deschamps opted to rest 9 players as they already had qualification secured. In all other competitions, Olivier Giroud leads the line with Antoine Griezmann playing in the attacking midfielder character directly behind him.
Kylian Mbappe is a continuous menace down the left flank, whilst Ousmane Dembele has been nearly ever-current on the right wing. Aurelian Tchouameni has ongoing every match in midfield, most often alongside Adrien Rabiot as the pair have formed a not-likely yet strong partnership. Dayot Upamecano and Raphael Varane have become the center-back partnership of choice, though Ibrahima Konate has started 2 competitions in the tournament, whilst Jules Kounde has ousted Benjamin Pavard from the right-back slot.
Lucas Hernandez ruptured his Achilles in the initial game of the tournament, which has meant his brother Theo has taken his place at left-back. Their starting lineups in their knockout games have continued unchanged, which suggests Deschamps trusts he has stumbled onto a winning formula.
France key players
Later having a breakout tournament in 2018, Kylian Mbappe is once again one of the most dangerous players at the Football World Cup. He a goal and assist against Australia, 2 goals against Denmark, and then a herculean all-round performance in their last 16 success in Poland where he got 2 goals and an assist to lead France to a 3-1 victory. He has pace and power, supreme dribbling skills, and also is one of the best closers in the world, making him a lethal danger to any defenders.
It is almost impossible to stop the winger, who several trusts will become the best player in the world for the following decade. Morocco’s defense has been bright this tournament, having only conceded one goal, and they will also have the quality of Achraf Hakimi to attempt and keep him quiet. But even if Mbappe doesn’t trouble the scorer’s list, his existence and effect on the match in other ways help open up the match for the French attackers, meaning it is highly possible that Morocco’s clean-sheet streak will be broken.
Several were writing off France’s chances of retaining the Football ld. Cup when it emerged that key midfielders from their 2018 campaign N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba would miss the Football World Cup through the wound. There was much debate as to who would take those initial spots, with Aurelian Tchouameni and Adrien Rabiot eventually getting the nod for the initial match against Australia. And whilst Rabiot has surprised several by putting in solid performances, it is the young Tchouameni who has really stood out in Qatar. Starting in all matches so far, not only did he score the initial goal against England, but he has put in superb all-round performances in the engine room, whether it be distributing the ball effectively to the French attackers or mopping up loose balls to protect the defense.
Whilst everybody knows of his quality playing for Real Madrid suggests that he is no slouch it is his performances in a midfield that is often outnumbered that have been so impressive. Though there are times he shows his inexpert (such as conceding a penalty to England), his performances have been widely superb. There is concern that he could be a doubt for the semi-final though, as he missed France’s most new training gathering at the time of writing.
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After playing a key role in France’s 2018 triumph, it has been a hard insufficient year in clubland for Antoine Griezmann, as his transfer to Barcelona unsuccessful to spark and he was freshly in a peculiar situation with his present club Atletico Madrid as they refused to play him for several minutes in fear of triggering an expensive transference clause in his contract.
Several thought he wouldn’t be near the starting side, but the wound to Ballon d’Or victor Karim Benzema meant Griezmann was thrust into the spotlight, but he has had a renaissance in Qatar. Despite not scoring any goals, he has three assists to his name as well as two in the quarterfinal success over England and has been notable in his deeper-lying role, with his dream, passing, and movement taking the French attack to extra level and causing havoc for opposition midfield and defenses.
The 4-2-3-1 is not a shape seen too often in the great sides of football, as various would rather have an additional man deeper in the midfield, but Griezmann is viewing that an attacking midfielder can still be used to devastating effect, and his link-up play with Giroud and Mbappe, in particular, has been some of the best in the tournament. If Morocco is to succeed, they have to stop Griezmann, but given the form he is in, that may not be likely.
France predicted lineup
Despite Tchouameni and starting center-back Upamecano missing training freshly, we are going to predict that France will stick with an unchanged team for their semifinal against Morocco. This means Hugo Lloris will head the side from the goalkeeper and that the awesome 4 in the attack of Mbappe, Griezmann, Giroud, and Dembele will all start once again. If there are to be changes in defense or midfield, expect Ibrahima Konate to deputize in defense, and Eduardo Camavinga or Matteo Guendouzi to stage into the crucial midfield spot.
Rabiot, Dembele, Hernandez, Griezmann, Giroud, Mbappe, Tchouameni, Varane, Upamecano, Lloris (GK) Kounde.
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