Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Deschamps' Waterloo? Going down fighting with a 4-3-3

Tonight at 9:00pm Paris time, Les Bleus will be looking to do the impossible - come back from a 0-2 deficit against the Ukraine to get into the World Cup next year. Mission impossible? Probably. But at least Deschamps and Les Bleus will go into this challenge with their boots on. According to reports, DD will employ the 4-3-3 rather than the usual 4-2-3-1.

The proposed line up: Lloris – Debuchy, Varane, Sakho, Evra – Pogba, Cabaye, Matuidi – Valbuena, Benzema, RibĂ©ry

Getting Cabaye into the mix in the midfield, as well as employing an attacking trio of Ribery - Benzema - Valbuena might be what France need to stand a chance. Cabaye will also permit the likes
May we see this tonight
of Pogba to push up higher on the pitch when need be, as Cabaye can provide cover during those forays by the Juventus midfielder. What will be interesting to see is how disciplined Valbuena is with keeping the right side of the formation offensively threatening. The 4-3-3 could easily morph into a "Christmas tree" or 4-3-2-1 formation with Benzema pushing high on the pitch and Ribery and Valbuena pinching in more into the middle of the pitch. Of course that type of formation is usually reserved for more conservative efforts, aka defensive minded play. Not really what is needed in this game!

End of the day France need to get a quick goal, put some pressure on the Ukrainian squad and also give the crowd a reason for hope. If Les Bleus can get a goal within the first 20 minutes then we might have a game. On the other hand if we go to half time on a goalless draw or...gasp...with Ukraine up a goal then I expect the team to roll over in the second half. Since last week I have talked myself into believing that France can pull off the miracle. But I know objectively that this team does not have the make up to reverse the situation. In addition, Ukraine are no pushovers and are equipped with one of the most defensive minded sides in the qualifiers.

Prediction: 1-1 draw, Ukraine scores early in second half, leading to a frantic finish as France have to score 4 goals only to see a late strike from Ribery to earn the "draw" at home. Then the fun will begin as the long knives will surely come out on Wednesday.

Allez les bleus.

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