More injury worries for France ahead of World Cup 2022￼
The last World Cup winner is running out of players just before the tournament! Presnel Kimpembe, another key player for the defense, is now unavailable too. Team boss Didier Deschamps is thus forced to make further changes to his central line-up.
As we already reported, the French are currently struggling with massive personnel problems. Among others, the two star players N’Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba are out for the central midfield of the Equipe tricolore.
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Not all squad players in top shape either
Even among the players called up to France’s World Cup squad, not all of them are at full strength. World footballer of the year Karim Benzema recently had to take a break due to muscular problems. In his case, however, it is to be expected that this is more of a precautionary measure.
In addition, Marcus Thuram, an important option for the width of the squad, was recently down with a stomach flu.
The problems in centre back are more serious: Raphael Varane recently suffered from a leg injury and Barcelona’s Jules Koundé also had a muscle injury.
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PSG key player out for the tournament
However, Presnel Kimpembe’s absence is much more serious. The 27-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star defender has been struggling with problems of late: sometimes it was his thigh, then again his Achilles tendon.
Now it has become official that Kimpembe will not be able to take part in the tournament because of these persistent problems. Instead of him, 24-year-old Alex Disasi from AS Monaco has been nominated.
Kimpembe is also very important for the French defense because he is a left-footer and therefore of central importance for the Deschamps team’s build-up play.
France Fixtures in World Cup Group D
|Nov. 22||10 p.m.||France – Australia||al-Janoub|
|Nov. 26||7 p.m.||France – Denmark||Stadium 974|
|Nov. 30||6 p.m.||Tunisia – France||Education City|
Deschamps must change his defense
France’s defense will therefore look different at the tournament than one might have assumed recently. If you look at the UEFA Nations League match against Denmark, you can see that the French team boss has already had to experiment in the past.
In that match, the three-man backline consisted of Saliba, Badiashile and Upamecano.
It was a constellation that ultimately did not work out: France lost 2-0 in Copenhagen, a situation they want to avoid in the rematch of the clash with Denmark on November the 26th.
Seven defenders, but no real stars
The French squad now has a total of seven centre backs to meet the complex requirements of a three-man backline. As already mentioned, Varane and Koundé are not yet at their best.
With Saliba, Upamecano and Konaté, they have three players with great potential, but who have probably not yet been able to prove themselves at the highest level.
Add to that Lucas Hernández from Bayern Munich, who could now step into a key role, and the post-nominated Disasi. Badiashile, who played as a centre back against Denmark, did not make the World Cup squad.
The group should be easy, after that it becomes difficult
In a group with the big underdogs Australia and Tunisia, France’s advancement to the round of 16 should be basically sealed. Only Denmark is a real test on the way to the last 16.
However, the first big challenge could already be waiting in the round of 16: Argentina would be a possible opponent for France, for example, if they would only finish second behind Denmark and Argentina would win Group C.
And it won’t be any easier after that either, with teams like England or the Netherlands waiting in the quarter-finals for the 2018 world champions. France will definitely not be lacking quality in attack, but the defense is now causing team boss Deschamps more and more headaches…