This will be a weekly series I will be doing about the top teams where that’ll be easy to discuss and that I will have knowledge about. So let’s begin with easily the toughest one to work out, France. The French are currently in a golden generation, so they are one of the favourites for the World Cup. So let’s look at the team that I think they should play. This team will be in a 4-3-3, to get the most out of the players.
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris
A simple one here. Lloris is the captain and their best keeper. While other keepers like Costil, Mandanda and Areola are top keepers, none are close to touching Lloris’s place in the team. The Spurs skipper has been in one of the best defences in Europe for the past 2 season, yet he still shows why Spurs need him so badly. Against Madrid, Lloris showed his class and kept them in the game. No competition at all. Lloris is definitely starting in the World Cup.
Right Back: Djibril Sidibe
Another player who comfortably fits in here. Sidibe was great Monaco and is just brilliant going forward. With the way this team is setting up a player with his stamina and work rate is perfect. There are other players who will be adequate replacements. Christophe Jallet has a lot of experience and has quality in the final third and Sebastien Corchia has been playing a lot of games for Sevilla after his move to the Spanish club. Deschamps has put plenty of faith in Sidibe so him starting makes the most sense for team so he gets my pick.
Left Centre Back: Samuel Umtiti
This is the first real difficult position to choose. France have a number of quality centre backs. Many playing at the top level or at least starting for their club. Samuel Umtiti gets my nod over others such as Laporte and Varane. The Barca defender has single handedly improved them, finally giving Pique an adequate partner who is at his high level. He is not only confident on the ball but he is full of energy and is able to track back if they are caught out. He has been in brilliant form so far this season so if he keeps it up he will be in this team with no issue.
Right Centre Back: Laurent Koscielny
If it was my decision I would probably choose Varane, but because of his injuries it’s difficult to really choose him. Koscielny and Umtiti have been playing games together. A partner with two defenders that player together is needed and for the team, it makes the most sense. Koscielny isn’t a bad defender, in fact I like how he intercepts the ball and he definitely adds experience to a young team. I do think Varane is a better defender but you need to pick a team that works.
Left Back: Benjamin Mendy
I love Mendy and as I’ve even mentioned he was worth every penny city paid for him. He is so good to watch and could even match the Brazilian left backs, and that is a difficult feet to accomplish. He has this real confidence when he has the ball. Mendy also has great game intelligence and is able to make perfect runs for the midfielders. He will be a constant nuisance for the opposition and is a must in this team. The likes of Kurzawa do come close to Mendy, but for me it’ll always be Mendy.
Defensive midfielder: N’golo Kante
Kante has been as consistent in the French squad as he is consistent in his performances. I do love Kante. He has improved on the ball and his interceptions will never be beaten. Although I would change him out for certain games, bringing in N’Zonzi for certain games and Kante for others. Kante is a great destroyer but N’Zonzi is a great shield for a defence, making him perfect for games against a more attacking team, where a counter attack is more useful. But Kante would be my default choice, based on his versitility and consistency.
Right Centre Midfielder: Adrien Rabiot
This choice is not really a choice I think Deschamps will make, but one he should make. Rabiot is a pure brilliant midfielder. A player who has incredible vision and passing range for someone so young. Rabiot is a natural talent who is consistently showing it. If he could be compared to anyone it would be Luka Modric, and that is the highest praise I could give. He is France’s second best midfielder and needs to start if France want to actually win this tournament.
Left Centre Midfielder: Paul Pogba
France’s best midfielder easily. He is an incredible talent if Deschamps can actually get the best out of him. In this formation Kante will do most of his defensive work and Rabiot is good defensively and great on the ball. It will get the best out of Pogba and that’s what France need. He will be the best player on the planet someday but just needs the chance to show it.
Right Winger: Ousmane Dembele
This is easily the most difficult decision, but yes I would start Dembele over Mbappe. I think Mbappe would be great off the bench and would work certain games. But if we’re talking about overall play I would choose Dembele. He glides on the ball like his Argentine teammate and this team needs a player who will stay further wide and stretch the opposition defence. With the amount of assists he got last season, there isn’t a doubt he should be on the wing for the World Cup.
Left Wing: Antoine Griezmann
My favourite player to watch. Griezmann is absolute perfection in an attacking player. He is brilliant at finding pockets of space where it’ll drag a defender, leaving room for the likes of Mendy and Pogba to exploit. He has been a constant in Deschamps line up. He is now at an age where he is ready to show the world what he is capable of unleashing on an opposition. He will be the world cups MVP.
Striker: Olivier Giroud
Giroud isn’t better than Ben Yedder, Mbappe and Lacazette. But he is the vocal point they need. I like Giroud. If you play to his strengths he is a brilliant footballer but most of the time at Arsenal that isn’t seen. With France however we constantly see Giroud at his best, with Deschamps clearly wanting that vocal point for the team to feed off. No matter how he is playing he will be starting.