How will the Blues play without Karim Benzema?


The Ballon d’Or package offers less margin to Didier Deschamps before entering the competition.

Special Envoy to Doha

The ax fell in the Qatari night. Karim Benzema will not play a second World Cup after that in Brazil in 2014. With this package, Didier Deschamps reserves the possibility to call a last element to complete its listthe dead line was set for Monday 8 p.m. by FIFA. After that it will be too late. Still, the absence of the 34-year-old Madrid striker offers months of latitude to the coach of the world champions, but the French reservoir still allows him to imagine brighter days ahead. Explanations.

Great “winnerfrom Benzema’s package is none other than Olivier Giroud. At 36, the Milanese, whose presence was not even assured in the France group in recent weeks, is in great shape. In legs, motivated for his last World Cup, appreciated by his partners, he offers certainties as “target man“. Barring a physical glitch or poor form, he should start on Tuesday against Australia and even the other matches. Around him, Kylian Mbappé will take advantage of this fulcrum in his preferential position on the left, with a freedom that he appreciates. Ousmane Dembélé, impressive since the start of the rally with his support and his speed, postulates on the right in a formula where Antoine Griezmann would navigate in support of Giroud, before joining the midfield in the defensive phase. In any case, this is what was worked on this week in Doha. In the offensive sector, Deschamps can also count on Kingsley Coman and to a lesser extent Randal Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram, who are more at the end of the bench.

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The unknown Raphaël Varane in defense

In the midfield, Adrien Rabiot and Aurélien Tchouaméni are certain starters, it remains to be seen with what animation and what specific role. Knowing that Didier Deschamps, as in 2018 in Russia, can leave with the idea of ​​a game system, before changing the following matches or during the cleaver matches. “I forbid myself nothing“, likes to remind the coach, who does not intend to whine about his fate with the Benzema package. “We’re on a commando mission in Qatar“, he admitted in our columns this Saturday, as much to say that this sentence takes on even more consistency after the return to Madrid of the Ballon d’Or.

In defense, Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard, two of the heroes of 2018, will start on the sides. Uncertainty hovers around the hinge. Raphaël Varane, back in training on Saturday in the heat of Doha, could apply. We will know more this Sunday during the session scheduled for the end of the day. If so, he should form the axis of the Blues with Ibrahima Konaté, whose athletic profile appeals to the staff of the world champions.

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