Thursday, February 03, 2011

France v Brazil - Blanc announces his first list for 2011

Laurent Blanc unveiled his list of players for the February 9th friendly versus Brazil. The question going into the announcement was whether or not he would recall Evra (Ribery was also eligible post suspension but injury made his inclusion moot). The answer to that was a non call up for the Manchester United left back, not entirely surprising.
The list:

La sélection contre le Brésil :
Gardiens : Carrasso, Lloris, Mandanda
Défenseurs : Abidal, Clichy, Koscielny, Mexès, Rami, Réveillère, Sagna, Sakho
Milieux de terrain : Cabaye, Diaby, A. Diarra, Gourcuff, M’Vila, Malouda, Matuidi
Attaquants : Benzema, Gameiro, Hoarau, Rémy, Menez

No surprises in goal, Lloris should be the starter at Stade De France. On defense it is good to see the Arsenal man - Koscielny called up. Between himself, Sakho and Kaboul I think we are seeing who will assume the mantel of central defense for Les Bleus in the not to distant future. Also I hope this first call up means that the Gunner will be committed to playing for France - he does have the possibility of playing for Poland.

The midfield will miss the presence of another Gunner - Nasri. Injury will not allow him to play for a few weeks so not available for the squad. Which is tough since he is one of the most in form players for Blanc these days and has emerged as one of creative forces for both Arsenal and France. His partnership with Gourcuff and Malouda brought a lot to the table against England and demonstrated how dynamic the French national team could be with a more creative midfield. One minor surprise was the inclusion of Matuidi, not that he does not deserve the call up but just how far have LDiarra and Toulalan fallen in the pecking order for holding midfielder?

Up front no surprises either, Blanc seems to have placed his faith in Benzema, even thought the former Lyon striker remains in the Mourinho dog house at Real Madrid. The return of Menez is a good sign, he brings the flexibility to play up front as a striker or drop wide and play as a winger or even outside midfielder.

Based on his options and the opponent I would not be surprised if Blanc decided to go back and play a 4-3-3. Without the services of Nasri, I think that Blanc will not look to play a 3 man attacking midfield, although he could with a certain combination.

  • Lloris in goal
  • Back 4 should resemble the one from Wembley, with Abidal back at left back, which is one of the main reasons we did not see Evra back in the squad: Abidal, Rami, Mexes, Sagna as the back 4.
  • 3 midfielders who I think Blanc will look to mimic what he did away to Bosnia - M'Vila, Diarra, Diaby.  You might even see a start for Cabaye in the place of Diaby. This would give Blanc 3 holding/defensive midfielders, but who have the ability to start the attack and contribute on the offensive side. Blanc would look to these three to try and snuff out any oxygen the Brazilian midfield would need to mount sustained offenses.
  • Up front a 3 man attack - Malouda, Benzema and Remy. The two wide players can easily drop back to help in the midfield while Benzema would be the point of attack.
If Blanc decides to go back to the 4-2-3-1, Diarra and M'Vila stay as the two holding players, insert Gourcuff in between Malouda and Menez with Benzema up top.

There are some interesting cards to play for Blanc. I think if Gourcuff plays much will be expected of him, without Nasri on the pitch it will be up to the Lyon midfielder to carry the creative side of the French attack. The back 4 seems to be starting to gel, especially if Abidal continues to regain his form at left back...which is really where he should have been playing all along. Blanc has a deep pool when it comes to the holding spots, the question remains can he find the right combination offensively for Les Bleus.

See you next week!
Allez les Bleus!!


philip said...

Sucks that Nasri got injured. I see Brazil winning 2-1. The game will be 1-1 and Brazil will score in the last minutes of the game.

Anonymous said...

France is going to hurting for offense without Nasri or Valbuena (and with Gourcuff in poor form). I wouldn't at all be surprised to see a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 with three defensive-minded midfielders in the middle (although both M'Villa and Diaby have decent offensive skills, too).

GFC said...

@philip, I think the game will be close, have not come to a conclusion as to how the game will end. I think that this Brazil side is also one in transition - a lot of new faces -

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Gomes (Tottenham), Neto (Fiorentina)

Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), David Luiz (Benfica), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), Andre Santos (Fenerbahce), Breno (Bayern Munich), Luisao (Benfica), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Rafael (Manchester United

Midfielders: Anderson (Manchester United, Lucas (Liverpool, Ramires (Chelsea), Sandro (Tottenham), Elias (Atletico Madrid, Hernanes (Lazio), Jadson (Shakhtar Donetsk), Renato Augusto (Bayer Leverkusen.

Strikers: Pato (AC Milan), Robinho (AC Milan), Andre (Dynamo Kiev), Hulk (Porto)

I think the match will be tight - considering it is the first international game of the season for both sides.

Also agree - without Nasri, Ribery and Valbuena as well as Gourcuff not playing up to his level Les Bleus might find the offense a bit dragging. I do look forward to seeing if Menez is given more freedom, a good chance for him to shine for Les Bleus.

Anonymous said...

Boss Which tV will Teelecast This Match??? Is it Tv 5 Asia..


GFC said...

The game will be on TV5. The other option is online via which will be carrying a number of the international friendlies.

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