Composition probable de l’équipe de France :
Lloris (cap.) - Sagna, Koscielny, Abidal, Evra - Valbuena, Guilavogui, Sissoko, Ribéry - Benzema, Giroud
Against a Georgia team that will most likely keep 10 if not all 11 players behind the ball, pack the box and look to counter attack France, Deschamps looks to put two strikers on the pitch to try and get a goal if not more. The reality is that with Benzema's propensity to drop deep on the field to go get the ball, is this really a 4-4-2? Or will it really be a 4-2-3-1 with Benzema drifting back in the formation? It will be imperative for the Real Madrid forward to avoid his usual habit of floating deep on the pitch...getting in the way of the likes of Ribery and Valbuena. Granted with Giroud on the pitch, hopefully the Georgia defense will not be
The other question mark for me is what about the right side of the formation? Valbuena has been successful by playing a more central role in the midfield. Does he have the discipline to stay wide? Not sure. If he does start drifting back to the center can Sagna offer consistent service from his right fullback position? Not sure. I have not liked the Arsenal man's crossing, I feel it leaves much to be desired. Once again I am sure the French attack will lean heavily on the left with Ribery and Evra in that channel.
This match will be no cake walk. I expect the pitch in Tbilissi to be heavy and choppy, not in great shape to slow down the French passing and speed (similar to baseball teams that let their infield grass grow a tad longer to slow down ground balls). Georgia will sit deep and look to attack France on the counter....which they are very susceptible to. Look for France to try and attack over the top, try to get the ball deep to Giroud where he can either lay it off to an on rushing player aka Benzema or one of the midfielders, or where the Arsenal man can take his chances on goal. This will call upon the likes of Evra, Sagna, Valbuena and Ribery to provide good service to the strikers.
I also want to see how Guilavogui and Sissoko handle their responsibilities. In games such as this France tend to get caught up with trying to score and as more time goes on get frustrated. Players like Ribery and Valbuena are not necessarily the most disciplined to keep their defensive responsibilities in mind. This will require the two holding midfielders to be incredible conscious of when they pinch into the offensive end, when do they jump into the attack and when do they hold back providing cover to the back line. This will be especially important when the wide fullbacks make deep runs into the attacking 1/3.
End of the day, Les Bleus should win this game. It will be more difficult than it should be, but that is par for the course with France these days. I look for a meek 1-0 win. Giroud scores the only goal, Benzema continues his scoreless streak!
Allez les bleus.