Mbappe to start in England clash?
By S. Willis
Teenage sensation Kylian Mbappé is tipped for a starting spot in much-changed line-up as France play host to England in a friendly at the Stade de France on Tuesday night.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Stade de France, Paris
France - England (Kick-off at 21:00 CET)
France's shock last-gasp loss to Sweden on Friday - in which several big names underperformed - reportedly has coach Didier Deschamps ready to ring he changes as Les Bleus get set for a gala meeting with old foes England in Paris on Tuesday.
Monaco's teenage sensation Kylian Mbappé is set to reap the rewards, with a likely starting spot in a 4-4-2 set-up along alongside red-hot hitman Olivier Giroud, who struck a screamer in the Sweden loss to take his record to 17 goals in his last 17 appearances.
The Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year has set the summer transfer window alight with all kinds of astronomical fees being discussed for moves to Europe's biggest clubs and fans will have a chance to see whether he can shine - and score his first goal for France - after being handed a platform on which to do so.
In for Antoine Griezmann, Mbappé should be joined by clubmate Thomas Lemar and Dortmund's Ousmane Dembélé on the flanks, in place of Dimitri Payet and Moussa Sissoko. Meanwhile, N'Golo Kanté should be brought in to flank fellow defensive midfielder Paul Pogba at the expense of Paris Saint-Germain's Blaise Matuidi, with Deschamps underlining the need for a balance of expression and solidity.
"I will field a team capable of attacking well and also defending with quality. Sometimes I rotate the squad a lot - it can cost the team its ability to express itself, as was the case against Spain - but in my mind it was the right time to do it. This is the last match of the season so I will make changes and potentially make six more in the course of the match."
Deschamps is also set to start Samuel Umtiti alongside Raphaël Varane in the centre of defence, moving Laurent Koscielny to the bench, while Djibril Sidibé and Benjamin Mendy should reprise their roles at right- and left-back respectively.
Hugo the victor
As for Hugo Lloris, whose last-second blunder cost France a result against Sweden, Deschamps is unstinting in his support of the Tottenham glovesman.
"He will play and he will be captain," declared the France boss of his 'keeper, who hadn't made a serious error in over four years as France's number one. "I think that's for the best. I spoke to him about it and if he had seen things differently, perhaps I would have changed my judgement."
France: Lloris (c); Sidibé, Varane, Umtiti, Mendy; Dembélé, Pogba, Kanté, Lemar; Giroud, Mbappé
England: Heaton; Jones, Stones, Cahill; Trippier, Dier, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bertrand; Sterling, Lingard, Kane