Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Abidal back in the center - France v Chile

All indications point to Abidal - Kaboul as the central pairing for the French defense in tomorrow's match against Chile, which also be the pairing for the match against Albania in the Euro qualifiers (Rami will be suspended and Mexes recovering from injury). The last few matches for Sakho, both for France and PSG, have not exuded confidence in the eyes of Le President. How quickly things change, a few months ago Sakho seemed the clear #3 option behind Mexes - Rami!

Back in the middle again
With Evra injured, Clichy will most likely take up the left flank with his former team mate Sagna off on the right. The question is who will start in front of this back 4? With Blanc leaning towards a 4-2-3-1, it appears that Malouda is the choice on the left (made easier that Ribery was not selected) with Benzema up front and Nasri as the #10. So who for the right or the holding pairing?

Blanc was seen working Martin - Diarra as one pairing and Cabaye - M'Vila for another. The latter much more defense, the former with a #10 in Martin playing deeper, something Blanc had tremendous success doing while managing Bordeaux when he would line up Diarra - Gourcuff as his deep lying midfield duo. On the right I think the time will be split between Menez and Remy. With 6 substitutes allowed, look for Blanc to rotate his central pairing in the midfield, give both pairings a run at it. Look for Menez and Remy to split time on the right. And I can see Gameiro getting in 45 minutes at the top of the formation. I doubt he will swap out his central defensive pairing, unless he wants to see Sakho on the pitch for 20 minutes, hopefully get him back on the right track; however, I think Blanc of all coaches understands the importance of getting his central defensive pairing in sync, and this will be seen as his best chance in preparation for Albania, so expect to see his pairing stay together on the pitch for the full 90 minutes.

I do not expect too much from this game, players are getting back into game shape, are focused on the start of the season...Chile is coming off Copa America. I expect to see a bland 0-0 draw. The real issue will be, can Blanc get the most out of his 90 minutes to prepare for Albania?

Allez Les Bleus


Anonymous said...

Remy should get the start on the right. He finished last season on a tear and played very well against Sochaux on Saturday. Menez has been a bit shaky. He's talented, but has a tendency to show off and give the ball away to easily.

Philip said...

Not a bad game for france they had some good moments. They should have had another goal which did not count. I'm tired of bad calls that cost games I see them way too often.

Jeff said...

Philip - First, I do not claim to be an expert, but my understanding is that the defender's touch has to be considered a pass. The Chile defender was just trying to get a header to clear the danger, so I thought the assistant referee's ruling was ok. Again, I'm not an expert. My father-in-law and the match commentator agreed with you. I think they considered it a flick on - an attempted pass.