Sunday, October 09, 2005

Final week of WCQ

The final game of World Cup qualifying will be upon us in a few days. After yesterday's games it is clear that much is to be decided.

Of course I need to start with Les Bleus who had a crucial match in Switzerland. If they win they qualify, a tie or loss means all is to be played for on the final day against Cyprus. Without Henry and Trezeguet the French looked as if they would be short of offensive options. However they still had the dangerous Cisse...so what does Domenech do, but he puts Cisse on the bench to start the game! He lines un Wiltord up front alone with Dhorraso, Malouda and Zidane supporting....not sure why inspired domench to think that Wiltord could handle the offensive burden alone. I think that Wiltord has always played better in support of a true striker - at Arsenal he did well with Henry in front, with Bordeaux he had Pauleta and now with Lyon he has a wealth of natural strikers in front. Wiltord needs to be allowed to roam while a stiker pulls the defense away from his lanes. Alone up front he runs into the defensive wall...From all reports it appears that France struggled to get any movement since the Swiss defense had no real fear of Wiltord breaking them down. Something that did not happen once Cisse entered the game. Granted France got the point and still control their destiny, but once again I believe that Domenech has lost an opportunity to make the qualification easier. I hope that he starts with a line up including Cisse in Weds final match, needing to score 4 more goals than Cyprus in order to guarantee a qualification.

Other matches: England backs in without playing much inspired football; the Czechs must be dissappointed losing 0-2 to Holland and putting their qualifications in jeopardy; Ireland and the Swiss play a high level match this weds at Landsdowne road, the Irish need a victory to finish second in the group, while the Swiss will also seek a victory to qualify directly, a draw giving them the second place finish (assuming France can at least beat Cyprus which is no gaurantee).

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