France boss Didier Deschamps has opted to bench Kylian Mbappe for their final Group D game


Why France’s line-up to face Tunisia could be BAD NEWS for Australia: Didier Deschamps calls in the reserves for final Group D game, opening the door for African side to leapfrog the Socceroos into the last-16

France’s starting XI for their final Group D clash against Tunisia has been revealed, and it could be bad news for Australia after several big guns were benched.

Les Bleus have made a perfect start to their World Cup defence, beating the Socceroos and Denmark to secure an early progression to the last 16. 

France need only a point to guarantee top-spot in Group D, giving them a potentially easier fixture in the knockouts, though it could conceivably be Argentina they face in doing so.

France boss Didier Deschamps has opted to bench Kylian Mbappe for their final Group D game

France boss Didier Deschamps has opted to bench Kylian Mbappe for their final Group D game

That could spell trouble for the Socceroos, who need a favour from the French to advance

That could spell trouble for the Socceroos, who need a favour from the French to advance 

With maximum points from their two prior outings, Deschamps has been afforded the luxury of rotating his side for their final group game, which will come as a major boost given the extensive injury list the 54-year-old is having to negotiate. 

Karim Benzema, Christopher Nkunku, N’Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe and Lucas Hernandez are all unavailable for the reigning champions. 

With a mounting injury list, Deschamps has tried playing Eduardo Camavinga at left back in a training game to test his suitability as possible cover for the injured Hernandez – and the 20-year-old starts in defence today. 

Monaco’s Axel Disasi, typically a centre back, has also been named at right back.

Graham Arnold is aiming to send Australia to the last-16 for the first time since 2006

Graham Arnold is aiming to send Australia to the last-16 for the first time since 2006

But that news will be very badly received by Australia boss Graham Arnold, with the Socceroos hoping to reach their first knockout round in 16 years when they face Denmark.

A win over the Danes will guarantee their spot in the last-16, but a draw makes things more complicated. In that situation, a Tunisia win over France will see the African side leapfrog the Aussies into second spot.

So a weakened French side opens the door for that prospect to become a reality. 

There was talk beforehand of a potential start for Steve Mandanda, with captain Hugo Lloris resting ahead of the knockout stages, and indeed it’s the 37-year-old veteran who starts between the sticks today. 

Former Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guandouzi, now playing for French outfit Marseille, has also been handed a starting role in midfield. 

Confirmed France XI:  Mandanda; Disasi, Varane, Konate, Camavinga; Coman, Tchouameni, Veretout, Guendouzi; Kolo Muani.

Didier Deschamps has been able to rotate his squad with France safely through to the last 16

Didier Deschamps has been able to rotate his squad with France safely through to the last 16

France's World Cup squad was hit by injuries before the World Cup - including Karim Benzema

France’s World Cup squad was hit by injuries before the World Cup – including Karim Benzema

France are looking to become the third team to confirm a spot in the last 16 as group winners, with Holland and England becoming the first sides to do so on Tuesday. 

The outcome of this afternoon’s clash will have significant ramifications for the evening fixtures, where Argentina and Poland go head-to-head, most likely knowing finishing runner-up in the group will set up an unwanted clash against France in the next round.

France, in topping the group, would play against the Group C runners-up on Sunday, December 4 at the Al Thumama Stadium, with kick-off at 3pm. 

Should the unthinkable happen and France finish as runners-up, they will play on Saturday, December 3 at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, with kick-off at 7pm.

Advertisement

You May Also Like

Fans on social media react to Man City’s breaches of Premier League’s financial rules

Fans online have claimed that Manchester United and Liverpool should be awarded…

Man City star Kyle Walker warns Arsenal of ‘twists and turns’ in Premier League title race

Arsenal, be warned! Man City star Kyle Walker tells table-topping Gunners there…

Former Newcastle star Christian Atsu ‘is stuck under rubble’ after Turkey 7.8 magnitude earthquake

Former Chelsea and Newcastle star Christian Atsu ‘is stuck trapped under rubble…

Jesse Marsch is SACKED by Leeds after Nottingham Forest defeat

BREAKING NEWS: Jesse Marsch is SACKED by Leeds after Nottingham Forest defeat…

Manchester City CHARGED by the Premier League with numerous breaches of financial rules

BREAKING NEWS: Man City are CHARGED with breaking the Premier League’s financial…

Manchester United ‘ready to launch £107m summer bid for Napoli star striker Victor Osimhen’

Manchester United ‘are ready to launch a £107m summer bid for Napoli…

Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer insists Manuel Neuer will not have his deal terminated

The president of Bayern Munich, Herbert Hainer, has insisted the club will…

All Blacks’ mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka ‘hired by Chelsea on a short-term basis’

Chelsea have reportedly hired former All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka…

Graham Potter insists opposition digs over Chelsea’s spending don’t bother him

‘Envy isn’t a good quality’: Graham Potter insists opposition digs over spending…

USA ‘hold talks with World Cup winner Argentina and Brazil over fall friendlies’

USA ‘holds talks with World Cup winner Argentina and Brazil over fall…

Brighton’s dressing room is ‘sticking with’ Moises Caicedo, reveals Lewis Dunk

Brighton’s dressing room is ‘sticking with’ Moises Caicedo despite the midfielder BEGGING…

Christian Atsu found alive after Turkey earthquake and recovering in hospital

Former Premier League footballer Christian Atsu ‘has been found alive and is…