Match Preview: France vs Luxembourg World Cup Qualifying
France are likely to strengthen their grip on top spot in Group A when they host Luxembourg in a qualifier for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia at the Municipal Stadium in Toulouse on Sunday.
Les Bleus were big winners last time out, beating the Netherlands 4-0 on Thursday. Thomas Lemar was one of the stars of the show, despite being embroiled in intense transfer speculation during deadline day of the English summer window.
Match Details :
Date: Sunday, September 3
Time: 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET/00:15 IST
Venue: Municipal Stadium, Toulouse
TV Info: Sky Sports Football, Fox Soccer Plus, Sony Ten Network(India)
Live Stream: Sky Go, fuboTV, Fox Sports Go
Squad and Team News :
France are slowly getting closer to booking their place in Russia 2018. More importantly though, their performances are slowly picking up, and Didier Deschamps’ men are well and truly establishing their credentials as one of the favourites for the tournament next year.
Playing a fearless brand of attacking football, Les Bleus boast one of the youngest, most exciting core group of players that is providing jitters to the best of defensive units. At the back, Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti have forged a solid partnership at the heart of defence.
However, Deschamps is without the services of the Real Madrid defender for the latest international fixtures as he sustained an abductor injury. In his absence, Laurent Koscielny is expected to continue as Umtiti’s partner, with Djibril Sidibe and Lavyin Kurzawa on either side of the duo.
At the centre of the park, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante should retain their places for the crucial qualifier on Sunday, as should Thomas Lemar after his match-winning performance on Thursday. Kylian Mbappe though, is likely to have earned a start after an impressive cameo against the Dutch.
Possible Starting XI (4-4-2): Lloris; Sidibe, Koscielny, Umtiti, Kurzawa; Mbappe, Kante, Pogba, Lemar; Griezmann, Giroud
Luxembourg have largely been the whipping boys of Group A, with little to show before the shock win over Belarus on Thursday. But, what made the aforementioned result all the more remarkable was that they achieved it without several key first-team players.
Indeed, Luc Holtz has been forced to leave out 10 first-team players out from his latest squad due to injury or illness. As a result, his starting eleven on Thursday had three debutants whose average age is just 19.
With the same set of experienced, key players missing for the trip to Tolouse though, Holtz will focus more on the defensive side of the game than making an impact on the other end of the pitch. Thus, the likes of Kevin Malget and Chris Philipps will be charged with keeping things tight at the back.
Meanwhile, the impressive Aldin Skenderovic is expected to continue as a makeshift holding midfielder following his solid debut against Belarus. Up front, Daniel Da Mota and Aurelien Joachim will aim to grab whatever opportunity that comes their way to score past a strong French defence.
Possible Starting XI (4-3-3): Joubert; Jans, Harush, Philipps, Malget; Holter, Skenderovic, Thill; Da Mota, Joachim, Rodrigues