Thursday, November 13, 2014

DD back to the 4-4-2...out of necessity or a real option moving forward?

Reports coming out of Clairefontaine would have us believe that Les Bleus will come out tomorrow back in a traditional 4-4-2. Hmmm. Not sure what to make of that. Readers of this blog will know that I think France plays better when they play a 4-3-3, taking advantage of their depth and quality in the midfield trident and allowing their wide players to carry the attack - leaning on a lone striker to roam around the penalty box. Starting with 2 high strikers might create a lot of congestion in the attacking 1/3. The potential line up -

Lloris - Jallet, Varane, Yanga Mbiwa, Digne - Sissoko, Cabaye, Valbuena, Pogba - Lacazette, Benzema

Some items to watch:
  • Deschamps is putting the former and current Lyon strikers together. How will Benzema function with someone playing off his shoulder. Karim seems to function better as the lone striker, even at Real Madrid when he is partnering with the likes of Ronaldo, the Portuguese is more of a winger. Lacazette has been lined up as a striker for Lyon, even though he is believed to have a future on the wing. Will the two strikers compliment one another...or get in each
    The OL connection - will it succeed?
    others' way?
  • Is that really a 4 man midfield? Or more of a 3 deep lying midfield with a false #9 in Valbuena? The formation reads 4-4-2, but I can see Valbuena being asked to push higher on the pitch, sitting in the space right behind the two strikers, with the trio of Sissoko, Cabaye and Pogba as the defensive/linking midfield. I could even see Cabaye being the deeper lying player, right in front of the defensive back 4, Sissoko being given responsibility for the right and Pogba the left side of the formation. It will be interesting to see how this midfield evolves. But I certainly doubt it will be a flat 4.
  • Where will the wide play come from? With out the usual wingers or formation rolled out, where will the offense come from the wings? Expect Digne and Jallet to be instructed to push high and wide on the pitch. They will be asked to provide the bulk of the crosses and wide runs, overlapping the midfielders to offer wide options for Valbuena.
I am not sure how much we will be able to deduce from this first game, they are not playing the metal of world football. It should be a good test as I expect Albania to pack it in and look to strike on the counter. That will shine the light on how well the fullbacks are able to bring some dangerous crosses, how does Benzema and Lacazette attack the Albania goal as a tandem and can Valbuena break down the defense as the #10?

Prediction - France 2: Albania 0 goals from Cabaye and Benzema.

Allez Les Bleus!!

1 comment:

pierrot said...

interesting analysis!

Lacazette's been lining up as a striker for OL, but he's not a 'target man' type. like benz, he likes picking up the ball a bit deeper, and running at defenders. he can do that from a central position, or from either wing -- he's very versatile. like benz, he's also very unselfish -- will be interesting to see if they can work together. laca's been absolutely top flight for OL this term -- took the captain's armband when gonalons was suspended couple of matches ago, drove the team, scored a brace in a win.