Will France be the nation to break the world cup curse? - Unified Sports

Will France be the nation to break the world cup curse?

In this post, you’ll Read about
History of France at the World Cup and major competitions
Manager profile
Tactical analysis
Strengths
Weaknesses
France’s World Cup path
Players to watch out for
Young players to watch out for

France, the reigning world champions, also known as Les Bleus, go into this world cup as one of the favorites, just as all world champions do at every world cup (WC). But if there is one thing that can stop them, it is the World Cup curse, which knocks the holders out of the WC in the group stage itself. Will France be the team to break the curse? Let’s find out

History of France at the World Cup and major competitions

France have won two world cups, in 1998 and 2018, and were also runners up at the 2006 World Cup courtesy of the Zidane headbutt incident. France has also won the Euros twice, in 1984 and 2000

Manager profile

France is managed by Didier Deschamps, who played a key role in ensuring the 2018 success. He has been the manager of the team since 2012 and has served them through 2 world cups and 2 Euros, winning the former once and being the runner up in the latter. He has also led France to their 1998 World Cup win, bringing a wealth of experience to the team. He is certainly a manager who knows how to win big tournaments.

World Cup

Tactical analysis

Deschamps employed the 4-2-3-1 at the previous world cup but has chosen to alternate between it and a 3-4-2-1. This switch has been seen when the main defensive midfielder, Kante, has been absent for the team, thus forcing them to play extra defenders to make up for his loss. The experimentation seems to have gone poorly, as they have won only 1 of their 6 national league games. They were also outclassed in a nail biter against Switzerland in the previous Euros. Deschamps likes to use his wingbacks high up on the pitch as chance creators and shot takers from outside the box. The most important players in the French set up are the double pivots in midfield, who are crucial in converting possession and creating chances forward through quick releases and breaks. 

Strengths

The French team is strong in every department and has great squad depth at every position, making them a formidable team. They have one of the best players in attack in Mbappe, who is a goal machine for PSG. He was also instrumental in their campaign last time around. Their striker, Karm Benzema, who was voted the best player in the world this year, has been unstoppable, scoring every hat-trick in every knockout round of the Champions League. Their other striker, Olivier Giroud, has been in top form as well. Their fullbacks, Pavard and Hernandez, have been superb for their clubs, maintaining consistency in the squad. France has an experienced captain in Hugo Lloris, who is on course to be the most capped French player. He, along with Deschamps, brought two World Cup-winning captains to the squad. Young stars like Saliba, Tchouameni and Nkunku have been in monstrousforms for their clubs, earning them spots in the French team. The French team has an XG of over 2, making them very prominent goal scoring threats with quality in the attack. They also have an XGC of less than 1, showing resilience in their defense. The team is also filled with great penalty takers who will be impactful in the knockout stages of the tournament.

World cup pics

Weaknesses

Though France may seem impenetrable, their recent form suggests otherwise. Winning only 1 out of 6 national league games has shown that France are a team that can be beaten. This slump has been ongoing since their elimination from the Euros. The main reason for this is due to the recurring injuries to two of their most important players, N’golo Kante and Paul Pogba, who are virtually irreplaceable for the team now. They also confirmed the team would be out of the World Cup due to injuries, altering the entire heart of the team. 4 Champions League winner and French Central defender Rafael Varane is also said to be a doubt for the World Cup. Antoine Griezmann, who played a vital role for France in the Euro 2016 and the 2018 world cup, has barely started any games for his club this season, which will certainly affect his performance for France at the world cup. The French team is used to playing with similar players in similar positions, with injuries and inconsistency among so many of them, the chemistry and style of play will be negatively affected. They may also be forced to play more defensive formations with young, inexperienced midfielders and defenders replacing the injured ones. This could mean that the World Cup curse continues, as the France we will see is not the same as the one we’ve seen over the past few years. Deschamps will be scratching his head, wondering what to do, as the ripple effect of this has been seen in the nation’s league. Having lost to Denmark in the nation’s league, the French team has a lot to worry about before facing them in the group stages.

France’s World Cup path

France is most likely to be the group topper, with Denmark their only realistic challenge. From there on, France will mostly draw Mexico in the round of 16 and then possibly England in the quarterfinals. France should be able to do well in these games and go on to do well at the World Cup, but with the curse, no one can ever say what surprise they will throw at us.

Players to watch out for

Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud, Hugo Lloris, Benjamin Pavard, Kingsley  Coman, Antoine Griezmann, and Raphael Varane

Young players to watch out for

Kylian Mbappe, William Saliba, Aurelian Tchouameni, and Eduardo Camavinga

world Cup Mbappa

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