Wednesday, March 25, 2015

No surpise - DD leaning back on his 4-3-3

Heading into the friendly tomorrow against Brazil, word out of Clairefontaine is that Deschamps will roll out the formation we have grown accustomed to seeing France play - the 4-3-3. Makes sense with the French strength being in that middle three. Even with their engine room midfielder, Pogba, being out for the match, Les Bleus have plenty of talent and depth at that position.

The possible line up -

Mandanda - Sagna, Varane, Sakho, Evra - Sissoko, Schneiderlin, Matuidi - Valbuena, Griezmann, Benzema

No surprise in goal, with Lloris having to drop out of the squad after picking up a knock playing for Tottenham. The outside backs are back to the future, not sure I expect to see these two being the pillars for the Euro campaign. But we shall see. As for the center back pairing, looks like Sakho's club form has put him back in the good graces of the manager. I will be surprised if Kos doesn't get some time this game or next. Varane seems to be the constant in that central defensive pairing, who partners with him remains in flux.

The midfield trident shows the depth DD has at his disposal. Without Pogba, he can still turn to the
Is that DD calling me??
likes of Schneiderlin and Sissoko. Matuidi is a regular. Question becomes - will Cabaye ever regain his position? His main issue is that for his club - PSG - he is stuck behind a number of talented midfielders. Maybe he should have stayed in northern England! Up front, no surprise either. With Griezmann seeming to cement his role out on the left side of the formation, Benzema as the lone striker and Valbuena. The main issue, once again, will be to see how France's right plays. Yes Valbuena should be "slotted" to play in that right corridor. But we all know he has license to drift and often does. Raises a question - does Menez have a role on the national team? Anyone noticed his form in Italy? He has been on a tear for Milan AC. Could be something to keep in mind.

Brazil is always a tough opponent, don't let their last two World Cup games lull you into complacency. I expect a balanced and cautious game from both sides. I am a little nervous about France's outside backs, I am not sure they can keep the Brazilian wingers and fullbacks in check. There will be a lot expected of the midfield trident to slow down Neymar et al.

I look for a 2-2 draw. Benzema with a brace.

Allez les Bleus

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