Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Domenech's starting 11 - without Henry but with Mandanda

Interesting, Domenech decides to leave Henry on the bench and have Anelka hold the middle spot of the 4-3-3.  The starting line up:

Mandanda - Sagna, Gallas, Abidal, Evra - Gourcuff, Toulalan, Malouda - Govou, Anelka, Ribéry.

Not shocking that Mandanda gets the start, Lloris is the clear cut #1 and getting him some rest makes sense. I would not be surprised if Carrasso would start the next game against Tunisia. Somewhat surprising that Gouvou is in the starting line up, he will man the right side of the formation - it will be interesting to see how he works with Gourcuff, who will most likely be the midfielder behind him. Anelka up front is not entirely surprising, just not in the place of Henry. This is interesting in the fact that Henry has not had much playing time with Barcelona, and you would expect Domenech to want to get Henry's playing legs back under him as soon as possible.

What to watch for:
  • How does Gallas' leg hold up? Will he be able to play 90 minutes without any pain and how will he do back in game action?
  • Will the 4-3-3 be comfortable for the team? On the surface I would say yes, players like Anelka, Gallas, Sagna, Abidal and Malouda play in a similar formation at their clubs. One must watch to see how Toulalan handles the role of lone holding midfielder, he has the engine for the task that is not in question.
  • Who will take on the right side of the formation? Gouvou seems to have the first crack at the role but I am sure we will see Anelka, Gignac or Valbuena get their chances on the right wing.
  • What will Henry's role be? He is starting this game on the bench, is this an indications of things to come or just a chance to experiment with other strikers?
Allez Les Bleus

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