Blues – World Cup – Giroud, Dembélé, Saliba: Two months before the World Cup, what can the September 23 hope for?

To appear in the last list before a big competition does not give any blank check. Because the circumstances, between states of form and overall performance, draw dynamics that fluctuate. But the changes remain, generally, marginal and often constrained by injuries. Between March and May 2018 or 2021, Didier Deschamps had only made five changes between his March lists and then that of the World Cup and the Euro. For these two campaigns, the injuries of Laurent Koscielny, Anthony Martial and Ferland Mendy had forced Deschamps to touch up his group.

This time, it’s a safe bet that the list for Qatar will not have much to do with that of September. Among these 23, how many will defend the title of world champion? No one knows, but the avalanche of injured offers opportunities at the same time as it restricts the ambitions of the residents of the castle in this very special return to school. If the absentees are always wrong, the vast majority of today’s cripples (Pogba, Kanté, Lloris, Kimpembe, Benzema, the Hernandez brothers, Coman) have no worries about their presence at the Cup of the world, provided that they find all their physical means.

World Cup: What future for September 23?

Credit: Eurosport

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They will be in Qatar

  • Mike Maignan, Jules Koundé, Benjamin Pavard, Raphaël Varane, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé

Among those who will defend the blue jersey against Austria and Denmark, only seven Blues are, barring cataclysm, guaranteed to fly to Doha. Some are executives, even if their number is reduced to a minimum in this month of September, the others did not take long to establish themselves in the group. Six of them have already played at least one international competition and if this is not yet the case for Tchouaméni, the level displayed by the Madrid player in club and selection for a year leaves no doubt about his presence in Doha. For the others, their seniority in the group protects them from a headwind.

Jules Koundé during France-Denmark

Credit: Getty Images

They are in favor

  • Alphonse Areola, Jonathan Clauss, William Saliba, Christopher Nkunku, Ousmane Dembélé, Mattéo Guendouzi

A priori, they are not there by default. And even if the epidemic of injuries had not affected the Blues, they would have been part of this international comeback. Clauss and Nkunku chain their third consecutive rally, we have to believe that they gave satisfaction to Deschamps. And even if the Marseillais lost some steam last week, their club season justifies the choice of DD. As long as his body leaves him in peace and he continues to hover at Barcelona, ​​Ousmane Dembélé doesn’t have much to worry about. Just like William Saliba, excellent in the Premier League, and Mattéo Guendouzi, now well established in Blue as a back-up.

Ousmane Dembélé (France) in Kazakhstan

Credit: Getty Images

From 50-50

  • Ferland Mendy, Dayot Upamecano, Eduardo Camavinga, Youssouf Fofana, Randal Kolo Muani

Not sure that these five were totally their fate between their feet. If Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté and Adrien Rabiot will regain all their physical means in November, Youssouf Fofana and Eduardo Camavinga, both performing at club level, will compete for the last place in the middle. Ferland Mendy’s room for maneuver seems a little less narrow since he was preferred to Lucas Digne in the initial list in September. But the side of Aston Villa has often given satisfaction in the France team and the gap remains small. Dayot Upamecano cultivates the paradox of being essential at Bayern and so feverish in Blue. But Deschamps called him back for the first time since last November. Injuries in central defense probably helped him… Randal Kolo Muani, he probably plays his place with Wissam Ben Yedder. The Monegasque’s bad start to the season offers him a golden opportunity to shine and sow the competition. But what will happen in two months if WBY wakes up?

Eduardo Camavinga who lifted the Champions League last May

Credit: Eurosport

One less than a miracle…

  • Benoît Badiashile, Adrien Truffert, Jordan Veretout, Alban Lafont

These five owe their presence in the list only to the multiplication of defections. If everyone is on deck in November, they are watching the World Cup from their sofa. Jordan Veretout and Adrien Truffert start from even further since it took a double withdrawal (Rabiot and Kamara for Veretout, T.Hernandez and Digne for Truffert) to see them integrate the A. The same somewhat exceptional circumstances (withdrawal of L.Hernandez, Kimpembe and Lloris) accompanied the convocations of Badiashile and Lafont. So, barring a miracle in November (or gigantic performances at this rally and then in the club), the defense of the title will be without them.

Adrien Truffert during the match between Lens and Rennes, August 27, 2022

Credit: Getty Images

A unique case: The door is open but…

A unique case. His status as world champion and second top scorer in the history of the Blues combined with his presence in the September list should ensure him a place for Doha. But his situation is much more complex. Designated as the main culprit of Euro 2021 by his coach, Giroud only returned to the group thanks to the injuries of Karim Benzema in March and September. So if the Madrilenian is on his feet in November, what future for Giroud? A priori, DD will do without it but the Milanese, until proven otherwise, remains the second best center-forward of the Blues, very far ahead of the competition. So…

Olivier Giroud with the Blues against South Africa

Credit: Getty Images

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