During selection before Didier Deschamps gave his list

The tradition has been established since 2010. The coach presents his list of players for the World Cup at “20:00” on TF1. So what can we expect from Didier Deschamps’ presentation on Wednesday, November 9? Thirteen days before the Blues enter the World Cup in Qatar against Australia, the Basque have already suffered the withdrawal of two managers (Paul Pogba and Ngolo Kante) and are still dealing with injuries.

  • 23 or more in Doha if you want

Like all coaches, Didier Deschamps has the ability to call a squad of 23-26 players as permitted by FIFA. The Frenchman does not hide his preference for 23, as in recent rallies. At the risk of limiting his replacement options in the event of an injury. Before the last Euro, in June 2021, he made a good start with 26 players, but in a context of more intense health, with the threat of a positive Covid-19 test synonymous with returning home. Didier Deschamps, always sensitive to the possible mood of the substitutes, fears seeing certain players released during the tournament, a risk that is definitely greater in 26 than in 23.

  • With or without Raphael Varane?

If the Blues had a health book, blank pages would need to be added to record their new physical disabilities. From Karim Benzema to Presnel Kimpembe and Lucas Hernandez to Jules Kounde (plus a few others) have all been in hospital in recent weeks. Mike Meignan is more uncertain with a calf injury and the AC Milan goalkeeper’s withdrawal should help the return of the experienced Steve Mandanda (37) in a supporting role for Hugo Lloris.

Also read: World Cup in Qatar: Raphaël Varane is uncertain, trouble is piling up for the Blues

Another incident further disturbs the nights of Didier Deschamps and his vice-captain Raphael Varane. On October 23, the defender injured his right thigh and left Manchester United in tears. Will he recover against Australia? In his message on social networks at the end of October, the world champion wanted to be reassured. “Thank you all for your messages this week! I’ve been exercising a lot and I feel better “, he wrote from the Clairefontaine (Yvelines) training center where he was following his rehabilitation.

Is it enough to provide all guarantees to the trainer? “I have never parted – with the experience I have gained in my first life – with any player who is not physically ready to play the first game”, warned Didier Deschamps about Paul Pogba in September. He then cited the example … At Euro 2016, Varane was unfortunately sent off due to insufficient recovery from a muscle injury.

  • Olivier Giroud, really nobody’s replacement?

It only shows two units of the scoring record in the selection. But will Olivier Giroud have a chance to match or beat Thierry Henry’s 51 goals in Qatar? If we follow the meaning of the latest lists, when Karim Benzema disappeared, the central striker of “Milan” is in the France group.

The Ballon d’Or, presented in Doha, would decide the fate of Olivier Giroud (excellent at the club this autumn). Not really. Didier Deschamps, launched and revived on the subject, preserves the ambiguity and elevates the special status of Giroud, the undisputed owner during the years of Karim Benzema’s exile. “I have always believed that a player with a status should maintain the same status in the French national team. As a human being, it’s very difficult when you don’t hold it back.” Developed the boss of the Blues in the program “Téléfoot” on TF1.

Olivier Giroud celebrates his goal against Austria with Kylian Mbappe during the Nations League matchday 5 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, September 22, 2022.

Arguments heard by the main stakeholder. At the age of 35, Olivier Giroud says he is ready to embrace the role of joker and is spearheading a deft communication campaign. A world champion (without scoring but not without impact), the Savoyard above all else offers more guarantees than the Blues’ much-feared Wissam Ben Yedder to replace Karim Benzema. Even better, Kylian Mbappe praised his technical relationship with him after the 2-0 win against Austria on September 23. French football has yet to find a better player than Olivier Giroud in the “pivot” roster.

  • A final surprise from the chef?

On paper, the World Cup is not the right time to call for a “rookie”. In 2006, Raymond Domenech signed two new players, the highly sought-after Franck Ribery and the unexpected Pascal Chimbonda. The former will play a major role in the progress of the future finalists, the latter will mainly test the comfort of the German benches.

A cascade of injuries, Didier Deschamps still summoned five new ones in the last rally. Among them, Monegasque Youssouf Fofana looks the best place to be on the trip to Qatar, well assisted in midfield by Ngolo Kante and Paul Pogba. Manu Koné in this destroyed sector (21, Borussia Monchengladbach) and Khephren Thuram (21 years old, Nice) has little chance to surprise.

However, the visitor, who had zero options, could be searching in attack. Didier Deschamps is not unaware of the current Breton lobby around the Martin Terrier, the author of 11 goals with Rennes this season and who can develop in the axis or on one side. He, like everyone else, should watch the ‘one’ at around 8.30pm on Wednesday night and hope to hear Didier Deschamps pronounce their names.

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