France's Tactical Adjustments Under Didier Deschamps

France's Tactical Adjustments Under Didier Deschamps

As France gears up for their crucial clash with the Netherlands, Didier Deschamps is unlikely to make sweeping changes to his starting XI. The formation and core of the team should remain steady, but there are a few strategic adjustments worth considering.

Maintaining Formation Consistency

Deschamps' previous lineup featured Mike Maignan; Jules Kounde, Dayot Upamecano, William Saliba, Theo Hernandez; N'Golo Kante, Adrien Rabiot; Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Marcus Thuram; Kylian Mbappe. This formation provided a solid foundation, and major alterations are not expected.

Olivier Giroud: The Logical Solution

Olivier Giroud is a seasoned player with extensive experience with the French national team. Standing out as an obvious straight swap into the XI, Giroud, at 37 years old and Major League Soccer-bound, may not carry the entire team to glory in Germany. However, he offers enough to assist in the current tight situation.

Marcus Thuram: Central Role Potential

Another option for Deschamps is to place Marcus Thuram as the central attacking figure, moving Giroud to the bench and bringing in another player to occupy the wide left position. Thuram, currently playing for Inter, isn't a natural lone frontman and excels as part of a unit. His potential to thrive centrally depends on the team's creativity levels. The main concern here is whether Thuram is clinical enough to shoulder such a responsibility.

Bradley Barcola: A Wildcard Element

At just 21 years old, Bradley Barcola could also enter the XI following a solid second half of his debut campaign with Paris Saint-Germain. Alternating with Mbappe on the left, Barcola has shown an ability to create opportunities, which either Thuram or Giroud would need to capitalize on. Although he may be somewhat raw, Barcola is ready to step up and could be an unpredictable element that the Dutch may struggle to handle.

Randal Kolo Muani: An Unlikely Alteration

Deploying Randal Kolo Muani would likely necessitate a system change. Pairing Thuram or Giroud with Kolo Muani would bring work rate but not the same goal threat Mbappe offers. Changing Deschamps' established dynamic isn't ideal, making Kolo Muani more suited for a role off the bench.

Kingsley Coman: A Surprising Option

The most unexpected player to consider may be Kingsley Coman. Inconsistent fitness and infrequent appearances under Deschamps make his inclusion less predictable. Despite uncertainties surrounding his club future in Germany, Coman was rewarded with a squad role. Deschamps is likely to exhaust other options before considering this route.

Assessing Mbappe's Condition

A key factor is the fitness of Kylian Mbappe. He trained with a wrap on his nose and spent part of the session apart from his teammates while medical staff assessed his recovery. The next 24-48 hours will be crucial for mind games and finalizing strategies.

The Need for a Plan B

Deschamps might need a Plan B if Mbappe is unable to start and lead Les Bleus against the Oranje. This game remains a significant opportunity to secure a round of 16 spot with a match to spare, and Deschamps will want to seize this chance.

While France's tactical changes might not revolutionize the team, the minor adjustments and strategic decisions could make all the difference. The primary focus will be on judiciously deploying experienced players like Giroud and leveraging the potential of younger talents such as Thuram and Barcola. Whether these tweaks are enough to propel France to the pinnacle in Germany remains to be seen, but they could certainly help Deschamps navigate this challenging phase.