Sunday, September 06, 2015

Les Bleus back to a 4-3-3

After a 1-0 victory over Portugal, sorry for the lack of commentary but I did not see the game. I will have to go back and watch. But looking forward. Deschamps will look to get back to his 4-3-3 versus Serbia in their friendly tomorrow in Bordeaux.

The expected formation -

Lloris (Cap.)- Sagna ou Debuchy, Varane, Koscielny ou Mangala, Trémoulinas - Pogba, Schneiderlin, Matuidi ou Kondogbia - Valbuena, Giroud, Griezmann

Interesting to see the same central defensive pairing back out on the pitch (well unless Mangala gets in over Kos), but with some changes at the fullback. It will be good to see Tremoulinas back on the pitch he called home. Plus I think he deserves a serious look at that left back slot. In the midfield, Deschamps will again be able to call upon a solid block with the likes of Pogba, Schneiderlin, Matuidi or Kondogbia. The attacking trio will resemble a more regular formation with Griezmann wide left and Valbuena right, well Le Petit Velo out right on paper, but we all know he will most likely roam the offensive 1/3 of the pitch. Giroud back in the natural #9 role.

What will be interesting to watch for is how the French wings are bolstered with true wide players on the field. In the 4-4-2, the way Deschamps lined it up on Friday, did not have real attacking wingers on the field. DD did have a very powerful engine room with the likes of Sissoko, Pogba, Matuidi and Cabaye. Can Deschamps find a way to keep his midfield strong but have players like Griezmann on the field to give the team attacking width? And what about the right side? I realize that Valbuena is listed as the right winger in this formation, but I highly doubt he will stick out there for very long. Look for him to roam back in the middle of the field and even out to the left. This continues to be an issue for this side. This will place greater emphasis on the likes of either Sagna or Debuchy to take the space on the right side and provide some quality crosses. Otherwise the field will lean too heavily on the left.

I look for France to build on their success away to Portugal. France 2 - Serbia 0. Giroud and Valbuena.

Allez Les Bleus!

Friday, September 04, 2015

DD trying a two striker formation...but who is the play maker?

An interesting formation appears to be in the cards for Les Bleus - a 4-1-3-2, a hybrid 4-4-2. The line up:

Lloris - Sagna, Koscielny, Varane, Evra - Cabaye - Sissoko, Pogba, Matuidi - Fekir, Benzema.

A couple of things to watch.
  • The back line. With Varane and Kos back together does this mean that DD is going to lean on this pairing moving forward? Once again I am not convinced about the fullbacks. Evra, as I have stated for a few posts now, is on the back 9 of his career. Maybe even at the 19th hole. Not sure what we can expect from the former AS Monaco defender next summer. He might able to help game to game now, but during the Euros? As for Sagna, he has always been a solid defender but his crosses constantly frustrate. Just because there is a lot of volume to the crosses doesn't mean there is a high level of quality. Is DD still tinkering with the back line or are we seeing what he believes will carry Les Bleus next summer?
  • Who will be the play maker? Deschamps is lining up a solid midfield core, lots of ball winners and box to box midfielders. But who carries the role of the #10? I realize that Pogba is wearing that shirt for Juventus but that doesn't make him the defacto play maker. Clearly this midfield should control the pace of the game or at least have a very strong influence. But where will the creative aspect of the game come from? And who will cover the wide play? Sissoko and Matuidi can fill those roles, but are they natural wingers?
  • Two up that where the creativity comes from? Interesting move of pairing Fekir
    New playmaker?
    and Benzema together. It has been a long time since we have seen Les Bleus with 2 paired attacking players. Deschamps has lined up 3 attacking players in a 4-3-3 but that is with more traditional and wide attacking players. This line up is more of a 4-4-2 with two strikers. However does the inclusion of Fekir as one of the attacking players really disguise him as the #10 play maker? Had Benzema been lined up with Giroud, that would have been a pairing of two true strikers. Fekir is more of a hybrid striker, winger and attacking midfielder. Could he play a deep lying role, behind Benzema? Provide the link between the midfield and the attacking 1/3 of the field?
This will be an important game for Les Bleus, after a disastrous end of last international season, France have to find results over the next two matches. Both will be challenges, as France face some serious challenges. Frog's prediction: France 1 - Portugal 1....a tepid draw that doesn't uplift our spirits but also slows down the slide.

Allez les Bleus!!!