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take-off required for the Blues and Mbappé, before the holidays

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Saint Denis (AFP) – The French team is counting on its Kylian Mbappé rocket to end its season with a victory, finally take off in the League of Nations and alleviate the doubts that cross it five months before the World Cup-2022, Monday (8:45 p.m.) against Croatia in Saint- Dennis.

After a 2-1 defeat against Denmark and two 1-1 draws in Croatia and Austria, the Blues need points and confidence for their fourth meeting in eleven days, the last of a hearty June rally, before vacations.

Fatigue, injuries, the need to play the youngest or the lack of success have in turn been put forward to explain the poor performance of the course. So that these hazards do not pass for excuses, the Tricolores must refuel in a sold-out Stade de France.

Any other result would confirm the last place of the Blues in their League of Nations group, an unworthy rank for a world champion and which raises the threat of relegation to the second division (League B). For the first place synonymous with qualification for “Final 4”, the Blues no longer have their destiny in hand.

“We know that this French team should not be in this place. It is an obligation to win tomorrow, we are all aware of it”, assured Sunday Presnel Kimpembe, who will wear the captain’s armband on Monday instead. of Hugo Lloris, spared for the benefit of Mike Maignan.

Presnel Kimpembe promoted to captain of the Blues, during a press briefing in Split, June 5, 2022, on the eve of the League of Nations match against Croatia FRANCK FIFE AFP/Archives

Mbappé hoped for entry

The only team without a win in the pool, France above all wants to be reassured from the perspective of Qatar: after Croatia, there will only be two games left, in September, before the defending champions enter the running in Doha on 22 November against Australia or Peru.

Between concentration swings and defensive errors, Didier Deschamps’ men have given their opponents a lot this season, with only four “clean sheets” (no goals conceded) in twelve matches. But they have also sinned in recent days in the finish, like Kingsley Coman and Moussa Diaby, twirling but clumsy wingers.

French striker Kingsley Coman, after a missed shot against Austria, during their Nations League match, June 10, 2022 at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna
French striker Kingsley Coman, after a missed shot against Austria, during their Nations League match, June 10, 2022 at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna Joe Klamar AFP

Absent in the first leg in Croatia in Split, Kylian Mbappé sparked in Vienna for his return to the game at the end of the game. His presence from the kick-off in Saint-Denis would undoubtedly change a lot of things for the tricolor offensive efficiency.

The joy of Kylian Mbappé, after having equalized (1-1) against Austria, during the League of Nations match, June 10, 2022 at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna
The joy of Kylian Mbappé, after having equalized (1-1) against Austria, during the League of Nations match, June 10, 2022 at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna Joe Klamar AFP

Embarrassed in the left knee, the Parisian “is not 100%” according to Deschamps, but for the first time in 10 days, he participated in a collective session with his partners on Sunday.

“We have to combine all our forces to finish this internship well and win with Kylian and those who can start,” said “DD” at a press conference.

Fatigue

The presence at kick-off of Karim Benzema alongside “Kyky” is less certain: the Madrilenian was spared Sunday in training and could give way to Christopher Nkunku, author of two assists in the rally.

French midfielder Christopher Nkunku dribbles Croatian defender Domagoj Vida during their Nations League match on June 6, 2022 in Split
French midfielder Christopher Nkunku dribbles Croatian defender Domagoj Vida during their Nations League match on June 6, 2022 in Split FRANCK FIFE AFP/Archives

The coach will also have to make a choice concerning Antoine Griezmann, ghostly. “It’s just a little bit of (lack of) success. All the great players know that, it will come back, for sure. He will score at one time or another”, assured Benzema, who came to the rescue of his teammate.

Against the “Vatreni” of Luka Modric, Deschamps will also have to answer tactical questions, after having twice abandoned his privileged scheme of three central defenders, in favor of the 4-4-2 of the 2018 World Cup. I haven’t changed my mind”, he insists, appreciating to be “less predictable for the opponent”.

Coach Didier Deschamps, during a press briefing, June 12, 2022 at the Stade de France, before the France team's League of Nations match against Croatia
Coach Didier Deschamps, during a press briefing, June 12, 2022 at the Stade de France, before the France team’s League of Nations match against Croatia FRANCK FIFE AFP

His decision may depend on the outfield players at his disposal. Sunday, there were only thirteen to participate in the final training session, the day after the departure of N’Golo Kanté, with a knee injury, and Lucas Hernandez, who left to join his partner who was about to give birth. .

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