France starting XI for FIFA 2018 World Cup

4) Goalkeeper and Defenders

 

Hugo Lloris will remain the undisputed no 1 goalkeeper for Les Blues. Having captained the side throughout the qualifying campaign, Lloris remains France’s best option between the posts. Despite some conspicuous errors, Lloris has picked his form and has 11 clean sheets in the league this season. PSG’s Areola will likely be the backup given his development for the Parisiens this season. The full back positions will be likely occupied by PSG’s Lavyin Kurzawa, given his attacking instincts and Djibril Sidibe, Monaco’s right-back, who has time and time again shown his ability to run up and down the pitch. Raphael Varane has been one of the better performers for Real in their awful title defence this season and should take the right centre half position. Accompanying him would be Samuel Umtiti, who played in the Euro Cup final defeat against Portugal a few years back. At Barca, Umtiti has developed his game and looks a much better fit for the Catalans than he did last season. Laurent Koscielny would be another tempting option for Didier Deschamps given his vast experience.

3) Midfielders

 

Midfield is one area where the French are vastly blessed with stars. They possess unarguably the world’s best defensive midfielder in their ranks in N’GoloKante. The diminutive midfielder has been in fine form for Chelsea, who look lost in midfield without their enforcer. The other position will be occupied by Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, who despite all his critics, has been United’s main man this season. Kante will provide the excellent foil for Pogba allowing him to go forward. BlaiseMatuidi will also be an interesting option. For all his qualities, Pogba lacks the defensive concentration needed to play in a two man midfield.  Matuidi could come in handy in such situations, allowing Deschamps to shake up things. Providing width would be Monaco’s Thomas Lemar. The fact that he is valued at 90 million Euros by Monaco, is a testament to his quality. On the other wing, Deschamps faces a tricky decision of having to pick between Martial and Dembele, both of whom are amongst the best young talent in Europe.

 

2) Attackers

 

Given Deschamps’ proclivity of playing the old fashioned 4-4-1-1, Griezmann will likely get the nod ahead of KylianMbappe. Olivier Giroud, though has had his struggles for Arsenal, has regularly been on the scoresheet for the French. He has combined brilliantly with Griezmann with his hold-up play second to none. At Euros too, Giroud shut his critics with some master-class performances. Deschamps also has the luxury of changing up things if he wants with some deadly options on the bench. Kylian Mbappe, world’s most exciting young talent, is too good to be on the bench while, Lacazette, Arsenal’s second most expensive signing, can always make a difference from the bench.

1) Starting XI

 

GK – Hugo Lloris

CB – Samuel Umtiti

CB – Raphael Varane

RB – Djibril Sidibe

LB – LayvinKurzawa

DM – Paul Pogba

DM – N’GoloKante

LM – Thomas Lemar

RM – OusmaneDembele

AM – Antoine Griezmann

CF – Olivier Giroud