Speculation about the new form of the France national football team is limited to the center of the spearhead, after confirming the identity of the retired substitutes, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and center back Raphael Varane.
Endowed with patience, perseverance and talent, Mike Mignan reached the position of starting goalkeeper for the Blues at the age of 27. Coach Didier Deschamps’ confirmation comes as no surprise after Lloris’ illustrious career came to an end.
The Italian Milan goalkeeper was summoned for the first time in June 2019, but he missed the 2022 World Cup in Qatar due to injury, without affecting his fate with his country.
Deschamps, whose contract was extended until 2026 after reaching the World Cup final, worked to prepare the “magic Mike” months ago, especially in June when he gave him the opportunity to participate in the same amount of payment as Tottenham goalkeeper Loris.
But questions remain about the reserve guards. Bryce Samba did not appear internationally, despite his brilliance at the moment with Lens, while Alphonse Areola is used to the substitute seat, but his playing minutes have decreased with West Ham.
A clear quadruple in defence
And if Deschamps adopts four players in the defensive line, their identity appears clear: Jules Conde will keep his place on the right, Ibrahima Konate and Dayo Obamecano will form the poles of defense, and Theo Hernandez will stand on the left.
The Upamecano-Konate double appeared previously in the World Cup, such as facing Australia or extending against Argentina in the final, and is likely in the absence of the injured Prisnel Kimpembe and Luca Hernandez.
As a backup, Jean-Clair Todibo (Nice) and Axel Dizzy were called up for the first time, after William Saliba and Wesley Fofana were injured.
On the right side, Benjamin Pavard lost many points in the World Cup, after losing his starting position after the opening match, but his summons confirms Deschamps’ confidence in the German Bayern Munich player.
On the left flank, midfielder Eduardo Camavinga can play the role of substitute, in the absence of a player to compete with Teo Hernandez.
And while the two absentees from the World Cup, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante, remain away from the stadiums, there is no need to change the dazzling midfield duo in Doha: Adrien Rabiot, who is currently brilliant with Juventus, and Aurelian Tchoamene, who is less prominent with Real Madrid, Spain.
Deschamps could test Youssouf Fofana, Jordan Verito and Kevrin Thuram, who was called up for the first time.
Playmaker and vice-captain Antoine Griezmann will play his 75th consecutive match against the Netherlands, in what is a fine run that kicked off 2017.
Jiro or fresh blood?
How will the face of the French attack against the Netherlands and then Monday against Ireland? About the new captain and World Cup top scorer Kylian Mbappe, ambiguity hangs over Deschamps’ upcoming decision.
In the absence of Ousmane Dembele, the main player in Qatar, who was injured in March, Kingsley Coman may play a role on the wing.
The question remains about the position of the spearhead: Will veteran Olivier Giroud (36 years old) maintain his primary position? The coach avoided answering the question, Monday, on the first day of the gathering, “There are 11 players, and the 23 players can start in the match.”
Behind Giroud, there is Marcus Thuram, and especially Randall Kolo Mwani, after the controversial retirement of Karim Benzema, the best player in the world last season.
After being called up at the last minute to play the World Cup, Kolo Mwani gave a promising performance, but he missed a ball that was enough to give France its third world title against Argentina.
Deschamps said: I don’t put him the sure starter sticker, but he has more than the pre-World Cup period.
The coach must decide between experience and the future, perhaps with the memory of 2018 in his mind: giving Giroud a victory against the Netherlands (2-1) in the first home match of the newly crowned champion of the World Cup.