Thursday, November 07, 2013

The list of the 24 to face off against the Ukraine

Deschamps unveiled his list of 24 players that he will take into the World Cup qualifier playoffs against the Ukraine. Not too many surprises - the list:

GARDIENS : Mickaël Landreau (Bastia), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/ANG), Steve Mandanda (Marseille).
DEFENSEURS : Eric Abidal (Monaco), Gaël Clichy (Manchester City/ANG), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle/ANG), Patrice Evra (Manchester United/ANG),  Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal/ANG), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal/ANG), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool/ANG), Raphaël Varane (Real/ESP)
MILIEUX : Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Paul Pogba (Juventus/ITA), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle/ANG), Clément Grenier (Lyon), Samir Nasri (Manchester City/ANG), Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle/ANG), Rio Mavuba (Lille)
ATTAQUANTS : Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal/ANG), Dimitri Payet (Marseille), Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich/ALL), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille), Loïc Rémy (Newcastle/ANG)

The small surprise - the inclusion of Evra. After the soap opera that surrounded his recent interview where he takes to task members of the press as well as former players, where the Manchester United left back had to go the the headquarters of the FFF and explain himself, I was a little surprised that Deschamps selected him. Especially considering he has a viable plan B in Clichy. Will Deschamps want the circus that will clearly be around Evra leading up to the matches. What if Evra has a poor showing in the first match ... then what?  It will be something to watch.

Mavuba also makes his return. He will be looked at to provide cover in the holding midfield. The
Miss me?
reality is I doubt he will play a serious factor barring some injury. The reality to me is he is at best 4th in the pecking order for that role behind: Pogba, Cabaye and Matuidi. Sissoko might even be ahead of him. Regardless the Lille midfielder is a quality player and will be a valued asset in the preparation as well as in reserves for France.

What I will be keen to watch is who are the players DD decides to lean on? Will Nasri and Valbuena be seen together in the starting line up? What about the right flank? Will Deschamps look to use a natural right winger in Payet or go back to the aforementioned Nasri/Valbuena duo with one slotting out wide right. What about central defense, is Varane - Kos the duo that Deschamps will finally roll out or will Abidal keep his spot there? See you in a few weeks!

Allez les bleus.


pierrot said...

good analysis, and good questions, though i'm not sure i agree entirely with your assessment of mavuba's position. you're right that he's definitely behind matuidi in the traditional holder's role, but i think he's not really in direct competition with pogba, cabaye, or even sissoko -- i think of all three as more box to box and link-up midfielders. i doubt he'd ever be on the pitch at the same time matuidi is, but he could be with any of the other 3, i think.

GFC said...

I think Mavuba's profile is more similar to Matuidi's. I feel he as well as Matuidi are in competition with Cabaye/Sissoko in terms of Deschamps'strategy. Does he want to go with a more defensive duo, in which case Matuidi or Mavuba would win out over Cabaye or Sissoko. Or does Deschamps look for more offensive from his deep lying midfielders.

Read my recent post on how I see that playing out.