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France-Luxembourg: buying back in style

Ⓒ AFP – FRANCK FIFE – | Frenchman Thomas Lemar, Kylian Mbappé and Alexandre Lacazette (from left to right) in the 2018 World Cup against the Netherlands, 31 August 2017 at the Stade de France

The French team, relieved by its demonstration Thursday against the Netherlands (4-0) who approached the World Cup-2018, must now remobilize against the modest Luxembourg and maintain its offensive momentum, Sunday in Toulouse (20h45).

The Blues have reclaimed their lead in Group A and their destiny in hand, now three points ahead of Sweden, which favored them by losing to Bulgaria (3-2) and who will play Sunday in Belarus. In short, a leap in rankings and balm in the heart.

Thursday, it was all profits, but humility would not be luxury: it is not a matter of crushing the Oranje, finally less strong than announced, and then stand in front of the “Roud Léiwen” (Red Lions ) because they would be more bite than expected – even though they deplore ten (sic) wounded players!

“Well, I’m here to alert you and it will be as dear, think about it,” he said. Didier Deschamps to his players in the locker room of the Stade de France after the cardboard on the Dutch.

“The risk is to fall asleep, quite simply,” relayed Captain Hugo Lloris on Saturday.

– Mbappé and Lemar together? –

Ⓒ AFP – FRANCK FIFE – | Coach Didier Deschamps in a training session at the Stadium Municipal on September 2, 2017

“The high level is constantly confirming that we had won for the Luxemburgers but they had created difficulties for us, and they managed to win in their last home game against Belarus (1-0 Thursday) “We are obliged to confirm,” warned Deschamps.

On 25 March in the Grand Duchy, there was a draw 1-1 at halftime, before the Blues finally won 3-1, with a double from Olivier Giroud and a penalty by Antoine Griezmann .

It was there that Kylian Mbappé had released his first selection. The 18-year-old prodigy, who has just scored his first national team goal for his fifth cape, will be confirmed, before his official presentation by PSG next Tuesday?

DD did not say anything, but gave a clue as to the use of “KML” in Blue: “It is more axial attacker in a system with two, that is where it makes see very good things” . And, something unusual in him, the coach has awarded him a special place by stressing that “with what he is already doing at his age, he is one of the outstanding players.”

Mbappé will eventually be associated with the subtle Thomas Lemar, hero of 31 August with his double and whose new dimension seriously threatens the status of the absent Dimitri Payet on the left side? Deschamps greeted Lemar who, “beyond the goals scored Thursday, through his performance, was an important player.”

Ⓒ AFP – Mehdi BOUDARENE – | Presentation of the qualifying match at the Mondial-2018 between France and Luxembourg on 3 September in Toulouse

The Francilien and Guadeloupéen, who polished their automatisms last season in Monaco, have in any case arrived together at the Toulouse training on Saturday …

In the balance between experience and freshness, DD has long favored the first quality, so that in the small world of the Blues, the confirmation comes from the regularity. But the coach, in great pragmatism, seems to move the cursor to let the high-end youth flourish in Blue.

– Rotation: how big? –

In different proportions, he traditionally turns his team from one match to another when they are as close together, a fortiori when the opposing standing falls one or more notches, while retaining a bone.

His dilemma will be to inject fresh blood, according to the states of form only three days after the previous match, without however checking the dynamics born this Thursday, and which had been started against England in friendly match in the mid -June (3-2) a few days after the Swedish cold stroke (reverse 2-1). A subtle dosage in perspective.

He can draw from the players who entered Thursday at the end of the match (the strikers Lacazette, Fekir and Mbappé) or who did not appear (goalkeepers Mandanda and Areola, side Jallet and Digne, central defenders Kimpembe and Zouma, Matuidi, Rabiot and Tolisso, and the winger Thauvin).

The Blues have to cure the difference of goals, which counts in case of equality of points in the classification. Now, it is sometimes their cute sin: a clear domination which gives birth to no goal. And this can all the more happen when faced with a low-key nation such as Luxembourg, the prototype of the team, quick to brace on its bases and defend in fortress mode.

“Respecting the opponent is also, when you can score, do it,” said Deschamps. Understood, young people?

Probable teams from France and Luxembourg who face each other in a qualifying match at the Mondial-2018, Sunday in Toulouse (20h45):

France: Lloris – Sidibe, Koscielny, Umtiti, Kurzawa – Fekir, Pogba, Matuidi, Lemar – Griezmann, Mbappé

Breeder: Didier Deschamps

Luxembourg: Joubert – Martins Pereira, Philipps, Jans, Jänisch – Gerson Rodrigues, Skenderovic, Holter, Thill – Joachim

Breeder: Luc Holtz

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