Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Deschamps faces same dilemna as Blanc - central defensive pairing

Similar to his predecessor, one of the first issues that needs to be settled is which central defensive pairing he can lean on. Blanc found success in pairing Mexes with Rami, although by the end of his tenure the Mexes half of the equation started to show some cracks. Unlike Blanc, Deschamps does not have a pair of veteran defenders to pick from but he does have a number of options that could hold on to the role for years to come. Question is which pairing gets the call Friday and beyond.

Getting the band back together on Friday?
The players that Deschamps can call on - Varane, Koscielny, Sakho and Yanga-Mbiwa. The wrinkle for the game on Friday is that if Kos picks up an other yellow card he is out for the Spain match. Makes the game against Spain play a role in Deschamps' thinking. Of course DD and the team cannot look beyond the match Friday. Look at what happened in prior qualifiers when teams...like Belarus...are taken too lightly.
  • Koscielny - I do not think he will play Friday. DD will want his full compliment of defenders for hosting the defending World Cup champions Spain next week. He will not risk another yellow card for his Arsenal defender.
  • Varane - The Real Madrid defender has a legitimate chance to start, with his play of late for Real Madrid there is not question of his talent as well as his confidence. I just do not see him getting a start in such a game - getting his first cap. 
  • So the central pairing will be...Sakho and Yanga-Mbiwa. This pairing makes the most sense for me. Sakho has established himself as a starter for Les Bleus and he and Mbiwa have some games under their belts together for France. Games where they both played well, actually the Newcastle man played very well during those matches. Deschamps will want to lean on a pairing that has some understanding playing next to one another and who will be able to seamlessly handle the qualifier.
What will be interesting to see is, which ever pairing Deschamps leans on, if they play well on Friday - what will he do against Spain? To be determined!!

Allez les Bleus.

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