Monday, March 25, 2013

A disguised Chrismas tree for Deschamps tomorrow

No I am not trying to say that Christmas is coming to Paris tomorrow. But from the rumors coming out of the training session I have a feeling we might see a disguised Christmas tree formation for Les Bleus. The noise is that Deschamps will not lean on a 4-4-2 again, as he did against Georgia, which is really not a surprise since France will have to be concerned about defending and the midfield. Which means that DD could lean on a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1. France went to a 4-3-3 in the first half in Spain, but switched to a 4-2-3-1 in the second half. That game was a tale of two halves, with the second half being the better of the two. Does this mean we should look at the second half as a leading indicator of what might happen tomorrow?

The noise coming out of Clairefontaine is to expect a 4-2-3-1 with the Benzema atop of the formation and a more defensive minded Sissoko on the right over a Menez. Interesting.

Equipe de France : Didier Deschamps vers un 4-2-3-1 avec Karim Benzema pour France-Espagne? - Football - Qualif. Coupe du monde 2014
Will Sissoko sit that high on the pitch or drop deeper?
The reality to  me is if Sissoko ends up getting the start on the right side of the formation, I really see this becoming a ....wait for it....Christmas tree formation. That formation is a 4-3-2-1 (so looks like a Christmas tree). I foresee a more defensive minded Sissoko drop deeper and end up shouldering the back 2 midfielders (Cabaye/Matuidi). That would allow a Valbuena to drift out further right and more importantly will call upon Jallet to animate that right flank by pushing up the pitch. I think this is a real probability. Assume Spain will, as it often does, control the majority of possession, this will force a Sissoko to lend a greater hand in the French 1/3 of the pitch. This will also ask of Valbuena - Ribery -Benzema to carry the offense and really do so on the counter: with support on the flanks coming from Jallet and Evra making well timed runs.

I also look for Les Bleus to absorb Spanish possession, ride out the first 20 - 30 minutes and then start looking to push back from the flanks. Especially on the Spanish right where Ribery will target a shaky Arbeloa. We will see what the formation looks like tomorrow.

Allez les bleus!

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