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How France Should Line Up At The 2022 FIFA World Cup?

France squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup
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The reigning world champions France are rife with problems heading into the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. They have won only one of their six games since June. Their first-choice midfield pairing from 2018 of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante has been ruled out of the tournament, while their marquee superstar – Kylian Mbappe – has raised a dispute with the French Football Federation over image rights and has also caused plenty of political divisions within the playing XI, publicly stating his preference for playing with Olivier Giroud over Karim Benzema for the national team.

How France should line up at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Despite all the talent at their disposal, a smart man would bet against France at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. The chemistry on and off the pitch is far from ideal, there is a public history of infighting between the players, and the coach Didier Deschamps has yet to figure out a system and XI that fits with this current group of players.

The set-up France are expected to go with at the World Cup is a 3-4-1-2 formation. Although Didier Deschamps’ side has had little to no success using that system, the World Cup winner prefers to rely on defensive organisation and rigidity at big tournaments, something that the 3-4-1-2 provides.

There is plenty of talent available to Deschamps and his coaching staff at the FIFA World Cup 2022, and here is how France should line up in Qatar.

France possible line up at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

In goal, Hugo Lloris has been France’s captain and number one for the best part of a decade, and there should be no reason why the Tottenham man shouldn’t start for Les Bleus in Qatar at the World Cup.

There are plenty of options for Didier Deschamps to choose from in the back three, but the three centre-backs we are going for are William Saliba, Raphael Varane, and Lucas Hernandez. Saliba has arguably been the best central defender in the first half of the Premier League campaign, helping Arsenal top the table with 11 wins in 13 games. The 21-year-old is one of the most promising defenders in world football, and his height, athleticism, and calmness on the ball make him one of the most complete centre-backs at the World Cup.

Alongside him, Raphael Varane should start in the middle of the back three if he recovers from his injury, with Bayern Munich star Lucas Hernandez operating on the left. At wing-back, Hernandez’s Bayern team-mate Benjamin Pavard is the favourite to start on the right, while Ferland Mendy is expected to pip Theo Hernandez for a starting spot on the left.

In the middle of the park, France are light without the experienced championship duo of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante, leaving room for the next generation of Les Bleus stars to get their opportunity. Adrien Rabiot is an option for Didier Deschamps, but France may be best served in Qatar by starting the Real Madrid duo of Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouami. Both youngsters offer incredible technical security, are exceptional ball-winners and could thrive in this 3-4-1-2 system as the midfield pivot.

There are a variety of players France and Didier Deschamps could go with in the front three. The wealth of attacking talent in the squad and across the country is immense. A front three of Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann won France the 2018 World Cup in Russia. However, with current Ballon D’Or winner Karim Benzema reintegrated into the squad since Euro 2020, Deschamps has a selection dilemma.

It can be argued that the Giroud-Mbappe-Griezmann front three works better because of the improved fit, with the AC Milan striker dropping deep to link the play, allowing Mbappe to stretch the pitch vertically with his speed. Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema haven’t played a lot of football together for France, but they do tend to occupy similar spaces on the pitch, causing the team to struggle with their attacking fluency despite having arguably two of the best attackers in world football.

Even though Giroud offers the least technical quality of the four players, his presence and physical attributes are needed for the balance of the side, and France may start the tournament with the former Arsenal man before turning to the Real Madrid number nine as we go deeper into the FIFA World Cup 2022.


[Featured Image Credit: Equipes de France de Football]