Kylian Mbappé, France, Denmark
Les Bleus

Tunisia-France preview: 'Mbappé has no ego'

Tunisia-France preview: 'Mbappé has no ego'

Les Bleus
Publish on 11/29 at 11:20 - S. TELFORD


Kylian Mbappé is expected to start for France against Tunisia on Wednesday, but head coach Didier Deschamps isn't worried if his expected rotation extends to benching the Paris Saint-Germain star.

Tunisia - France


- Kick-off: at 15:00 GMT


Rotation is a luxury Deschamps can afford with world champions France already assured of their place in the last 16 having beaten Australia and Denmark in their opening two Group D games.


Stade Rennais FC goalkeeper Steve Mandanda is expected to replace Hugo Lloris, while former AS Monaco teammates Youssoufa Fofana and Aurélien Tchouaméni are reunited in midfield with the former coming in for Adrien Rabiot. Tchouaméni's Real Madrid teammate Eduardo Camavinga could be used out of position at left-back, meanwhile.

Mbappé on fire


But Mbappé, who is the World Cup's most potent attacking force this winter with three goals and assist so far, is keen to extend his record in Qatar and pushing to start, as are fellow attackers Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann.


"Physically he's fine so the problem would be his ego?" Deschamps asked when pressed on whether he would rest Mbappé. "What do you know about it? Does he want to play? Kylian has no ego, but at the end of the day he's important, decisive and shines brightly with his performances.

"But he's always been part of a collective framework. He's no longer 18, he has experience. All 24 [available players] want to play. They won't all start."


France have been unlucky with injury. Lucas Hernandez tore his ACL against Australia - hence the need to try Camavinga at left-back - while N'Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba were already unavailable when Ballon d'Ord winner Karim Benzema pulled out on the eve of the tournament.


Les Bleus haven't let that stop them, though, and they will finish as Group D winners unless Australia thrash Denmark and Tunisia beat them for the first time ever.


Tunisia can still qualify but they need a win and for the Australia-Denmark game to be a draw.


Ligue 1 influence


In Wahbi Khazri (Montpellier Hérault SC), Montassar Talbi (FC Lorient) and Ali Abdi (SM Caen), there are three France-based players in Tunisia's squad. Talbi and Abdi have played every minute so far, but Khazri has been restricted to 23 minutes off the bench.


"We lost a crucial match, but we'll give everything we have in the last game," Deschamps' opposite number Jalel Kadri said after Tunisia's 1-0 loss to Australia on Saturday.


"We don't change the team for the sake of changing, but we make adjustments to adapt to the way the rival teams play. We'll analyse our performance and fix our mistakes."


Possible teams


Tunisia: Dahmen; Bronn, Meriah, Talbi; Drager, Skhiri, Laïdouni, Abdi; Slimane, Msakni; Jebali


France: Mandanda; Pavard, Varane, Konaté, Camavinga; Fofana, Tchouaméni; Coman, Griezmann, Mbappé; Giroud

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