Euro 2020 (round of 16): France v Switzerland, Monday (9 p.m.) in Bucharest (Romania)
By dint of finding points of comparison between the France team of 2021 and that of 2018, in Russia, there had to be some differences. Three years back, Didier Deschamps was no longer looking. Approaching the knockout stages of the World Cup, he had found his team and his game plan for a long time. Since a daring but successful test against Peru, in the second match, to offset Matuidi in the left lane. In the night of Ekaterinburg, the coach of the Blues had unearthed the famous “balance” attack-defense, or defense-attack, which he sought and will reproduce until the final.
He is looking again for Euro 2020. Matuidi is no longer there, Olivier Giroud is there but no longer really there, Karim Benzema has returned, Kylian Mbappé no longer plays on the right side but on the left or in the axis. For all these reasons, the immutable 4-2-3-1 has crumbled. He reappeared against Portugal (2-2) on Wednesday, without much success.
Benzema and Griezmann step on each other’s toes
The Corentin Tolisso card on the right, in reverse mirror of the Matuidi of 2018, failed, as much as the close association of Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann, who stepped on each other’s feet. Since these two and Kylian Mbappé are essential in front, how to do? Deschamps is conservative… when it works. However, it is clear that all is not working out in this configuration, and there is a chance that the French coach will change something against Switzerland on Monday (9 p.m.) in the round of 16.
Several options are available to him, as many tactical options that he has tested for two years without ever freezing or definitively excluding the product from his tests. Model his team on the Swiss model and his defense with three axial, which would perhaps benefit Clément Lenglet, tested in this configuration, Saturday, in addition to Presnel Kimpembe and Raphaël Varane. Or take the initiative by taking advantage of this round of 16 more affordable than an early shock against England or Belgium would have been. Then it would be Kingsley Coman’s time.
Coman, anti 0-0 option
The Bayern striker scored points off the bench on Wednesday night. For half an hour, Deschamps placed four real attackers on the pitch. The Blues had a safety net, because they were already qualified, so their coach tried to force the draw lock to see victory. The blow did not go far, especially on a final acceleration of… Coman who could have been worth a penalty.
Without a net in a cleaver match, can he repeat the entry shot? Against Switzerland, perhaps, provided that Benzema descends a little less in the zone of expression of Griezmann and that Coman forgets less to defend than Mbappé on the other side … But it would be an offensive choice on the part of Deschamps , a choice against the monotony of a 0-0 which stretches in length and would do less blue business than during the last Franco-Swiss duel, in 2016, in the third group match of the Euro.
With the prospect of a quarter against Spain or Croatia, there is no guarantee that this offensive mold would have a life if he qualifies France on Monday. One match at a time… Before looking for the best way to go far, Deschamps is looking for the best way to see beyond Switzerland.
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