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With two months to go before the FIFA World Cup, the France team lost to Denmark in the Nations League on Sunday. The Blues, however, remain in the top flight thanks to Austria’s loss to Croatia.
France was crushed 2-0 by Denmark, on Sunday September 25 in Copenhagen, and owes its maintenance in the elite of the League of Nations only to the defeat of Austria, a meager consolation for the world champions, two months from Qatar .
The Blues were certainly weakened by an injury cohort for the clash against the ‘Danish dynamite’, attractive semi-finalists at the last European Championship, but they had enough reserves to hope to silence the noisy Parken and his some 36,000 red-and-white supporters.
Unfortunately, they suffered under the attack of the opposition, even sinking before half time against Kasper Dolberg (34th) and Andreas Skov Olsen (39th).
It was a very sad last outing for the Blues before the big game for Doha, where they will meet the Danes on November 26 for their second World Cup match.
“You do not have to worry”
Fortunately for them, Luka Modric’s Croatia won 3-1 in Vienna at the same time, sending Austria to League B of the Nations League, the equivalent of the second division, instead of France, which has a point more.
The tricolor campaign had started crooked in June, with four games without a win, and Thursday’s victory against Austria (2-0) was just a rare resplendent in the midst of the gloom.
“The necessary ingredients, we put them in three days ago, not today,” Didier Deschamps noted on TF1. But “we should not worry,” added the coach, aware of being able to “recover all the players or the vast majority” of those injured by the World Cup.
Meanwhile, the black series is rare for the Blues, as dark as the cascade of withdrawals that accompanied this return to school, from Paul Pogba to N’Golo Kanté, through Hugo Lloris, Presnel Kimpembe, the brothers Theo and Lucas Hernandez, Kingsley Coman and Karim Benzema.
Camavinga, failed return
In this context, the boss of the Blues opted for a team with much less experience than usual, populated by players who have enormous pressure on their shoulders for some: to seduce to join the World Cup list, scheduled for the week of november. 7.
From the height of his 19 years, Eduardo Camavinga put on the blue for the first time in two years, with a mediocre result. The Real Madrid midfielder lost balls, lacked impact and created very few chances.
Deschamps even replaced him at half-time with Youssouf Fofana who, three days after his first flight, was more consistent alongside Aurélien Tchouaméni. The latter forms part, on the contrary, of the Blues that have been on the rise for several months, apart from their duos (Pogba, Kanté, Guendouzi, Kamara, Rabiot…).
In Copenhagen, the red wave overwhelmed the young French point guard in sequence who, at the kick-off, had five selections on average with goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and the three central defenders Dayot Upamecano (23), Benoît Badiashile and William Saliba (21 years old), the latter being substituted at the break.
Set pieces and crosses started and the usual strongholds, Lloris (left in September) and Raphaël Varane (substitute) were absent.
Opposite, the attackers did not find the key to deceive Kasper Schmeichel, chosen man of the match, as Kylian Mbappé’s double chance in 67′, disrupted by the Nice goalkeeper.
With the bracelet for the first time, Antoine Griezmann had no more luck (15, 70). Olivier Giroud stayed at 49 goals, two units behind Thierry Henry’s record, and it is not yet known if he will have the opportunity to approach his highest mark.
Deschamps remains uncertain about the 36-year-old AC Milan striker’s international future next week. The coach has repeated on several occasions that it was humanly “difficult” for the world champion to now be confined to a role as substitute for Karim Benzema, currently fired.
In any case, questions are not lacking before the announcement of the list for the World Cup. And worries, either.