DECRYPTION – Stakes, absentees, broadcast… Everything you need to know before the League of Nations match between the Blues and Austria, this Thursday, in Saint-Denis.
Where and when to see the match?
France-Austria, it's this Thursday at 8:45 p.m., at the Stade de France. A match broadcast on M6 and which you can of course follow live commented on our site with Teddy Vadeevaloo.
Will the climate weighing on the FFF rub off on the ground?
To say that the current climate is heavy is an understatement. Bisbills in high places at the FFF, disagreements about image rights, Pogba affair… There is only the embarrassment of choice. The future will tell if the Blues manage to remain hermetic to all these disturbing elements. Didier Deschamps, he ensures the being. "With my staff, we have been at Clairefontaine since Sunday, the start of the course was serious and good humored. After the competition will take over. It's the hour of truth. The atmosphere is what it is. On what happens internally, believe me or not, I am cut off from the outside world. I have a lot to do in my job, as usual. I am also adapting to the situation with a lot of injuries and I remain focused on the sporting objective.», he swears.
Which absentees among the Blues?
In addition to the choices of Didier Deschamps, with for example Moussa Diaby (Leverkusen), Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco) or Wesley Fofana (Chelsea) left aside, it was a massacre that fell on the Blues for this final gathering before the World Cup (November 20-December 18). So we could easily make a competitive eleven just with the absentees! We would find there in particular the world champions Hugo LLoris, Presnel Kimpembe, Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kanté, without forgetting the probable future Golden Ball Karim Benzema, who was not in Russia. We have even seen certain players called up to compensate for a package having to give up themselves, Boubacar Kamara or Lucas Digne. Bad luck.
The 11 of the absentees (3-4-3): Lloris – Fofana, Kimpembe, L. Hernandez – Coman, Kanté, Pogba, T. Hernandez – Diaby, Benzema, Ben Yedder. Replacements: Mandanda (g), Konaté, Digne, Rabiot, Kamara, Martial, Saint-Maximin.
The team announced to start this Thursday evening on the lawn of Saint-Denis nevertheless remains competitive, with a priori two newcomers in the starting lineup, the Monegasques Youssouf Fofana and Benoît Badiashille. The armband for Raphaël Varane.
The probable 11 of the Blues: Maignan – Koundé, Varane, Badiashille – Clauss, Tchouaméni, Fofana, Mendy – Griezmann, Giroud, Mbappé
What are the challenges for the France team…
With two small points during the first four days of the League of Nations, the Blues are already out of the running for the semi-finals, in June 2023. They will not catch up with the Danish leader (9 pts, ranking here). This does not mean that the matches against Austria (this Thursday) and Denmark (Sunday) are without interest. Currently fourth behind Croatia (7 pts) and Austria (3 pts), the French will be relegated to the second level for the next edition of the competition if they finish last in their pool... A hell of a snub for a selection of this magnitude . Beyond accounting considerations, the France team will also aim (and above all?) to reassure itself after the June matches. "The main objective of these two matches is mainly to create common benchmarks, to be stronger together“Slips Raphaël Varane.
… and the Blues?
Less than two months from the start of the World Cup, and while it is the last gathering, some players have every reason to show themselves. After, it will be too late. In addition to the rookies (Fofana, Badiashille, Kolo-Muani, Truffert, Lafont), we will carefully follow the performance of ghosts Ousmane Dembélé and Olivier Giroud, even if “DDhas already been clear about the second named. In the absence of N'Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba, Aurélien Tchouaméni has a golden opportunity to show the coach that he has the makings of a starter. Especially since the “Pickaxe” is anything but certain to be delivered in time for Qatar… There would be places to take in the middle if necessary, with Eduardo Camavinga or Mattéo Guendouzi to try to take them. To see if Ferland Mendy can claim a ticket for the World Cup in relay of the Hernandez brothers.
Behind, boys like Jules Koundé, William Saliba or Dayot Upamecano will be expected for the last places on the plane to Doha. A priori, Jonathan Clauss, Christopher Nkunku and Mike Maignan can already prepare their luggage, but the latter has every interest in shining in the absence of Lloris. Varane and Antoine Griezmann, they will have to confirm their return to form in recent weeks. Kylian Mbappe? He doesn't need any additional motivation.
What should we fear from the Austrians?
Held in check in Vienna in the first leg (1-1), the players of Didier Deschamps are well placed to know that we must be wary of those of Ralf Rangnick, ephemeral coach of Manchester United last season. We obviously think of David Alaba (Real Madrid), the captain of this selection for years, but also of Marcel Sabitzer (Bayern) or Marko Arnautovic (Bologna). Many good Bundesliga players are also part of this team (Schlager, Baumgartner, Lienhart, Lainer, etc.), others who have the opportunity to rub shoulders with the European elite via the Champions League with Salzburg (Seiwald, Wöber, Ulmer ). Last but not least, Rangnick can rely on several "French", the Lensois Kevin Danso, the Clermontois Muhammed Cham and the Reims porter Patrick Pentz. Scorer in the first leg, Andreas Weimann (Bistol, English D2) is there too.
SEE ALSO - France team: Deschamps gives his list for the League of Nations