Saturday, August 31, 2013

DD goes with many of the same faces with one new "old" one

Last week Deschamps unveiled his list of names for France as they head into the final stages of qualifiers for the World Cup in Brazil. The names on the list look very familiar to the ones that faced off against Belgium a few weeks back...with one notable new face. Gignac. First the list:

Gardiens : Mickaël Landreau (Bastia), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/ANG), Steve Mandanda (Marseille).
Défenseurs : Eric Abidal (Monaco), Gaël Clichy (Manchester City/ANG), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle/ANG), Patrice Evra (Manchester United/ANG),  Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal/ANG), Eliaquim Mangala (FC Porto/POR), Adil Rami (Valence/ESP), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal/ANG).
Milieux de terrain : Etienne Capoue (Tottenham/ANG), Clément Grenier (Lyon), Josuha Guilavogui (Saint-Etienne), Geoffrey Kondogbia (FC Séville/ESP), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Paul Pogba (Juventus/ITA), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle/ANG).
Attaquants : Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), André-Pierre Gignac (Marseille), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal/ANG), Samir Nasri (Manchester City/ANG), Dimitri Payet (Marseille), Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich/ALL), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).

As France look to resolve their goal scoring issue, Deschamps has called up an old face one familiar both to him as well as the French national team. Granted Gignac has already found the net 3 times for his club, Marseille, but he also has not worn the national team strip since the debacle in South Africa. As I had mentioned in a previous post, I am not sure that calling back Gignac is going to solve France's scoring woos. How are Gignac's skills so much different that what the likes of Giroud provides the team? Maybe Deschamps wants more options with that profile. But again I am not sure that bringing in a retread striker is going to suddenly solve the scoring malaise for Les Bleus. Especially not a striker of Gignac's profile. If Deschamps had available a player that could single-handedly create his own chances, and put the ball in the onion bag, then he would be a good option. To me a player like Remy offers this profile. But Gignac? Not sure.

Otherwise the list looks eerily similar to the one used to confront Belgium. I look for Abidal to partner with Kos at center backs again. Not sure who will be the wide defenders. On the left it is a toss up, but on the right DD seems to favor Sagna. Lloris in goal of course.

The midfield will look very different from one game to the next. Matuidi and Pogba being suspended for the first match will most likely both start in the second. Can we see the Guilavogui - Kondogbia tandem in the first match? Or could Capoue find his way into the starting line up? I think DD will stick with the two that started against Belgium.

Up front, no surprises. I think we will see Ribery on the left, Valbuena in the middle and either Nasri or Payet on the right with Benzema as the lone striker. It will be interesting to see if Deschamps is tempted to start either Giroud or Gignac in place of Benzema, since both center forwards have both already been scoring regularly for their clubs.

Let's face it, France should win both their upcoming matches, even with their lack of goals from their strikers. But that does not solve the problem Les Bleus have been suffering from - lackofgoalsitis....

Allez les bleus.

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