Les Bleus

Deschamps happy with Euro 2021 dress rehearsal

Publish on 09/06/2021 at 09:00

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France boss Didier Deschamps was satisfied after his side rounded out their Euro 2021 preparations with a 3-0 friendly win over Bulgaria at the Stade de France on Tuesday night. Their next outing will be against Germany in their Group F opener in Bavaria on Tuesday 15 June.

A France side featuring Kylian Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema and substitute Olivier Giroud let Germany know they have plenty to worry about ahead of their clash next week by dominating Bulgaria 3-0 in their friendly in Paris on Tuesday.

Although he was dangerous throughout and had a number of chances, Mbappé didn't find the back of the net - but a parried shot from the Paris Saint-Germain superstar did fall for Griezmann, who opened the scoring with some acrobatics - and a friendly deflection (29').

It wasn't until the final ten minutes that France stuck again, substitute Olivier Giroud flicking home from close range (83') and then rounding out the scoring with a tap-in after a deft square ball from Monaco star Wissam Ben Yedder (90').

'A lot of strengths and qualities'

An excellent dress rehearsal ahead of crunch time next week, and Deschamps was pleased with how his side is shaping up for their tilt at the continental title.

"The Welsh gave us more trouble than the Bulgarians did tonight - that suggests we have made progress in training and in what we are able to do on the field. The was the dress rehearsal, in front of fans who urged the players on. In terms of intentions and attitudes, we are getting down to business. It won't give us any guarantees, but we know we have a lot of strengths and qualities - and we'll need all that for what lies ahead."

'We are where we need to be'

Following the pandemic-related complications to the last 18 months, there have been some concerns about fitness heading into the summer tournament, but Deschamps is confident his side should be peaking at just the right moment.

"There's work to be done but we won't be overdoing it. Overall, we're in pretty good shape physically," Deschamps declared. "You have to combine that with psychological freshness, because it's the head that controls the legs. We are where we need to be. There's still a final week of sharpening up to do."

Benzema questions marks

Meanwhile there were plenty of questions surround prodigal son Karim Benzema, who was forced off injured after taking a knock to his right knee and whose participation at the Euros is in question - just after he returned to the France fold after a five-year absence.

"It was just a knock - there are always worse things in life. I have an excellent medical staff," said the World Cup-winning coach, clearly keen to keep the waters as calm as possible in the lead-up to a tournament in which his side are among the favourites to go all the way. "We're going to do what we have to do and not spend every day wondering how he's doing. The famous and unpleasant imponderables are there. It's difficult to digest but we have to deal with it. We're not going to make it into a drama."