The expected starting line up:
Lloris - Debuchy, Koscielny, Abidal, Evra - Pogba, Matuidi - Remy, Nasri, Ribery - Giroud
No surprise in goal. I am a bit surprised to see Abidal in the starting line up, then again why should I be since the Monaco central defender has been manning that post for the past few games for France. I did think that Varane would find his way back along side Kos. The two deep lying midfielders - Pogba and Matuidi - tell me that Deschamps is going to play safety first before thinking about the attack. Not that either player is not capable offensively. But I would have rather seen a Pogba - Cabaye tandem, really looking to take the game to Ukraine and get those precious away goal(s).
The offensive trio of Remy - Nasri - Ribery is solid. Of course Valbuena could also showcase over Nasri. The key is how well Remy and Debuchy can link up on the right to give the French offense more balance. Remy has been of good form of late, let us hope that translates into some good actions against the Ukraine. Up front the player Deschamps has apparently given the nod too continues to be Giroud. Maybe DD sees Benzema as a powerful option off the bench late in games. The Real Madrid man did score in France's last two games, coming off the bench.
Clearly DD is approaching this game with caution. He is lining up his veterans - Abidal, Evra etc as well as going with a more defensive minded duo in Pogba and Matuidi. I would have preferred seeing DD put more pressure on Ukraine by rolling out Cabaye. For me the away leg is the time you push the game, try to get at least an away goal if not more. You do not want to lose the game of course, but you really want to go get some goals. Preferably more than one...
We shall see.
Allez les bleus.