Euro 2024 team guides part 14: France

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This article is portion of nan Guardian’s Euro 2024 Experts’ Network, a practice betwixt immoderate of nan champion media organisations from nan 24 countries who qualified. theguardian.com is moving previews from 2 countries each time successful nan run-up to nan tourney kicking disconnected connected 14 June.

Prospects

France attack astir awesome tournaments arsenic 1 of nan favourites these days – and they person their caller occurrence to blasted for that. While this will beryllium Les Bleus’ first tourney for a agelong clip without Raphaël Varane and Hugo Lloris, location is plentifulness of continuity wrong this side; nan midfield and onslaught will astir apt beryllium a copy-paste of nan 2022 World Cup broadside that reached nan last successful Qatar. With nan daze return of N’Golo Kanté, now plying his waste and acquisition successful Saudi Arabia, this is simply a France broadside that has a acquainted consciousness and 1 pinch nan correct operation of younker and experience.

They qualified serenely, winning each matches barroom nan last crippled against Greece, erstwhile an experimental broadside was fielded. With only 3 goals conceded successful nan campaign, including 2 successful that finale, it is clear France will beryllium difficult to break down, moreover if location are mobility marks surrounding nan individuals that will represent Didier Deschamps’ backline.

Since Varane’s world retirement, nan head has grounded to settee connected a centre-back partnership. The plentiful prime hardly makes his determination immoderate easier while nan biggest mobility people successful this broadside revolves astir nan right-back position. Deschamps has – astatine times – publically bemoaned a perceived deficiency of options location and has called connected nan governing assemblage to thief promote spot successful this area. Jonathan Clauss is successful nan squad, dissimilar 2022, but a much protect action à la Jules Koundé is apt to beryllium favoured.

An uncharacteristically shaky world break successful March raised a fewer questions but, erstwhile they footwear into tourney mode, France are imperious. All signs propose they will person nary problem being truthful again and a tally to nan semi-final will beryllium seen arsenic nan bare minimum.

The coach

There is continuity connected nan transportation and continuity connected nan sidelines too. Despite talk of a post-World Cup departure, Didier Deschamps remained successful post, moreover extending his statement to 2026. There were calls for a caller attack from immoderate quarters but his efficient, albeit astatine times unspectacular, accuracy was seen arsenic nan way to sustained success. Given that his style is copied astir notably by England’s Gareth Southgate astatine world level, specified an attack has merit. Why deviate from nan template that France themselves set?

The icon

When Kylian Mbappé was fixed a free walk to skip Paris Saint-Germain’s last Ligue 1 crippled of nan play against Metz, he took nan opportunity to be nan Cannes movie festival. There, he was only 1 of galore stars, but successful his ain section nary radiance arsenic agleam arsenic Kylian, surely not successful France. Ligue 1’s poster boy, PSG’s all-time apical scorer and France’s captain, nan 25-year-old approaches nan Euros disconnected nan backmost of a play successful which he won nan Golden Boot for a sixth consecutive twelvemonth successful nan league. He has signed for Real Madrid but first will look to lead Les Bleus to glory successful his first tourney arsenic captain.

France’s guardant Kylian Mbappe sits successful a car footwear arsenic he leaves a training session, arsenic portion of nan team’s mentation for upcoming Euro 2024 tournament.
It’s different footwear for Kylian Mbappe, though this 1 isn’t golden. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

One to watch

At €45m Bradley Barcola represented an costly punt for PSG, whose move for nan young winger was based upon a promising 2nd half of nan 2022-23 play for Lyon. Harshly described arsenic a “little lamb” by 1 French pundit aft a bid of timid performances, notably successful nan Champions League, Barcola has grown successful stature. However, his omission from Deschamps’ squad successful March looked to person ended his Euros dream – nan head doesn’t person a wont of calling up uncapped players for awesome tournaments. To person deviated from that argumentation and selected nan 21-year-old speaks volumes for nan winger’s ability.

The maverick

It is not that Benjamin Pavard didn’t person immoderate effect successful Qatar 18 months ago, it was simply that he didn’t person a affirmative one. Deschamps said that nan Internazionale defender “wasn’t successful nan correct framework of mind” to play successful 1 of Les Bleus’ matches and successful nan words of nan France head was “not happy pinch [the] situation” successful which he recovered himself sulking connected nan sidelines. The origin for his mauvaise humeur was ne'er divulged but having earned his reprieve, nan 28-year-old will beryllium looking to make nan correct benignant of belief successful Germany.

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The spine

Mike Maignan has inherited nan No 1 jersey from Lloris, who retired arsenic France’s most-capped player. Lucas Hernández’s wounded is simply a large rustle but successful his absence Dayot Upamecano is nan astir established centre-back successful this team. Antoine Griezmann, now playing successful a deeper midfield role, has ne'er been much important and influential astatine world level, arsenic demonstrated by his absence successful nan March friendlies, which brought an extremity to a world-record 84 consecutive world appearances. Up front, nary subordinate is arsenic influential arsenic Mbappé, nan Golden Boot victor successful Qatar who is already closing successful connected nan France all-time scoring record, presently held by Olivier Giroud.

Probable starting XI

France predicted lineup

Celebrity fan

There is simply a patriotic responsibility for heads of authorities to support nan nationalist squad but fewer do truthful pinch arsenic overmuch gusto arsenic nan Marseille instrumentality Emmanuel Macron. The president seemed to protector Mbappé successful Qatar and has precocious been “exerting nan maximum pressure” for nan guardant to beryllium released for nan upcoming Olympics too. Judging by nan Mbappé-less pre-Olympic squad, those attempts look to person been fruitless, but expect to spot Macron displaying a full scope of emotions successful nan stands successful Germany this summer.

Culinary delight

Sausage is nan staple of nan matchgoing fans’ fare successful France. Within that, location are location variations, astir iconically, nan Galette Saucisse, a Breton speciality consisting of a grilled sausage wrapped successful a pancake, which has go synonymous pinch Rennes. The club’s fans precocious made an effort to export nan section delicacy beyond nan borders of La Hexagone by offering them to distant fans during Milan’s caller Europa League visit. Time will show if it is adopted arsenic warmly arsenic France’s different celebrated dishes.

France squad guideline written by Luke Entwistle for Get French Football News

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Source theguardian
theguardian