Lloris - Sagna, Koscielny, Abidal, Clichy - Guilavogui, Kondogbia - Payet, Valbuena, Ribéry - Benzema
No surprise in goal nor across the back 4. As it was rumored, the Monaco defender Abidal will be slotted at central defense. Clearly Deschamps is still trying to figure out who will provide cover or even potentially be the starter next to Kos. I have to assume that Varane will get the nod, or at least be the club house leader for the role once he is fully operational. Clichy and Sagna are back on the flanks over Debuchy and Evra. I have no issue at left back, but at right back I still have my doubts of Sagna's offensive contributions.
|Will we ever see this again?|
Of course in the holding midfield role we will see two newbies - Guilavogui (who did get his first cap away to Brazil) and Kondogbia. These two new members of the national team are getting a run out in large part due to the suspensions of Pogba, Matuidi and Cabaye for the next qualifier. Having said that, I think this is a good chance to see some of the depth France has at this position. Let us not forget that Capoue, Sissoko and Mavuba are also available, not bad options. I will be interested to see how the first of the U20 World Cup champions, yes Pogba has played for the senior squad already but he wasn't a WC Champ at the time, assimilates into the senior squad. One thing France have plenty of depth is in the holding midfield role, with Guilavogui and Kondogbia starting we are just seeing more of these riches on display. Now if we could only trade a few of these assets for a world class striker.
|The Belgium Pele|
defense built around Kompany and some young talent at striker in Mirallas and Lukaku. This is a side that France could very well have to play in the qualifier play in round. Something I would not look forward to. Unfortunately for Les Bleus, I just do not see a way out of their recent malaise. I do not see a solution up front when it comes to scoring goals. I am not worried about Ribery or Valbuena, but the right wing remains a problem and we might as well play with Nasri as the fake #9 like Spain does because he has a much better chance of scoring than does Benzema. I am concerned with our center backs - not sure I want to see Abidal there, just do not feel that his is best position. The two newbies in the holding spots will be something to watch. I doubt either will be overwhelmed by the situation but this is their first international match together and having to face the likes of Hazard is no easy task.
Prediction - the poor run of late continues. Les Blues fall to Les Diables Rouge
Belgium 2 - France 1...alas
Allez les Bleus