FRANCE are the reigning World Cup champions and so it’s natural they are among the favourites to triumph in Qatar this winter.

However, for all their talented players and historical success, Les Bleus have wobbled this year, winning just one of their last six games.

They’ve also had their famous squad depth tested with some disruptive injuries – hardly ideal preparation for a major tournament.

And yet there’s no doubt almost every Dream Team World Cup gaffer will be keen on more than one of Didier Deschamps’ troops as they build their provisional teams this week.

France face Denmark, Australia and Tunisia in Group D and are expected to earn a favourable round of 16 draw in the form of either Mexico or Poland (assuming Argentina top Group C).


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Can Kylian Mbappe lead France to another World Cup win?

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Can Kylian Mbappe lead France to another World Cup win?Credit: Getty

So who should Dream Team World Cup bosses be considering, who should they avoid, and who (if any) are the potential bargains?

The temptation with France is to work from front to back, such is the star power in their forward line.

Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema are two talismanic forwards with both set to be among the most-expensive and most-popular assets in the game.

The former lit up Russia in 2018 but underwhelmed at Euro 2020 while the latter is coming off the back of a campaign that saw him lift the Ballon d’Or.

Both are top-tier options having plundered bucket-loads of goals for club and country in the last two years.

It should noted, however, that Antoine Griezmann has arguably been France’s main man at major tournaments under Deschamps.

The 31-year-old is having his minutes managed at Atletico Madrid this season but it’s worth remembering he won the Golden Boot at Euro 2016 and was second only to Harry Kane for goals scored at the last World Cup.

Whether he has another major tournament glory in him at this stage of his career remains to be seen and Dream Team World Cup gaffers should expect him to play deeper than Benzema and Mbappe.

Griezmann was his country’s joint-top scorer in qualifying – perhaps one to have a look at first.

Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouaméni could have big parts to play

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Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouaméni could have big parts to playCredit: Getty

In midfield, Kingsley Coman feels like a player to avoid despite his undoubted talent.

Competition for places is fierce and Dream Team World Cup gaffers should be eyeing up certain starters only.

France will be without the injured Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante, two stalwarts of their 2018 victory.

Real Madrid youngsters Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga may be tasked with stepping up, though Deschamps generally values experience.

The former is a more likely starter though he does not fit the profile of a midfielder capable of producing plentiful points – you should focus on players who specialise in goals and assists.

Incredibly, Adrien Rabiot may have an important role to play, he’s been a regular in the last two years after a somewhat turbulent start to his international career.

Will Raphael Varane win his race against time to be fit?

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Will Raphael Varane win his race against time to be fit?Credit: Reuters

In defence, it’s unclear what combinations Deschamps prefers.

Raphael Varane’s latest injury scare left him as a doubt to make Qatar as he faces a race against time – the Manchester United centre-back is a veteran of 87 international caps and was a class act in Russia four years ago.

Presnel Kimpembe, Jules Kounde and William Saliba are all pushing for a place in the starting line-up though Benoit Badiashile is one to keep an eye on given he played 90 minutes in both of France’s last two Nations League games.

The Monaco man has battled with injury issues of late but looks to have returned to fitness in time to be in contention.

Benjamin Pavard starred for France in 2018 but faces a battle with Jonathan Clauss for the right-back spot, with the latter a potential bargain if given the nod.

Hugo Lloris is likely to overtake Lilian Thuram to become France’s most-capped player of all time during the tournament – if you think Les Bleus will keep it tight at the back then he’s your man between the sticks.

However, the 35-year-old is equally capable of the sublime as he is the ridiculous these days, as we’ve seen in a Tottenham shirt recently.


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