While Antoine Griezmann is in a rather precarious state of form, Didier Deschamps has several options to replace the Atlético player.
Antoine Griezmann is not well. The Mâconnais did not manage to find colors on this rally with the France team, he who came out of a disappointing end to the season with Atlético de Madrid. Beyond his scarcity in front of goal – he hasn’t scored since the beginning of January – the former Barcelona player is very neutral in his contribution to the game. He seems shy, borrowed, lacking in confidence. The symbol ? This loss of ball in his camp which brings the Austrian goal to Vienna (1-1).
Griezmann, the essential?
So we have to save Private Griezmann… or do without him? This second option is not the one chosen by Didier Deschamps, at least for the moment, because the 2018 world champion is one of the coach’s executives, maybe even his No. 1 player. The proof, he played the last 64 matches of the Blues, a record in this area. “Grizi” is therefore unavoidable, but there are nevertheless ways to do without him. Here are three schemes Deschamps could use against Croatia on Monday.
In 3-5-2 with Nkunku
Deschamps chose this system in 3-5-2, or more precisely in 3-4-1-2, because it allowed his three major attackers to evolve together in the axis. The problem is that there really isn’t another No. 10 in the list drawn up by the coach for this meeting. In the current group, it is Christopher Nkunku who has the most suitable profile to evolve behind the Benzema-Mbappé pair. Decisive passer for the Madrilenian against Denmark then for the Parisian in Austria, the player from Leipzig is a great satisfaction for this month of June. His connection with Benzema and Mbappé is progressing. But at club level, he plays more like a second striker than a No. 10, as a playmaker behind two points. Training midfielder, he can however adapt.
The possible composition of the Blues: Lloris – Pavard, Koundé Kimpembe – Coman, Tchouaméni, Rabiot, T. Hernandez – Nkunku – Benzema, Mbappé.
In 4-4-2, with Rabiot
The coach has returned to his 4-4-2, which flirts with 4-2-3-1, for two games. Each time, we found a duo with a point (Ben Yedder then Benzema) and a player in the role of second striker, able to pick up and combine (Nkunku then Griezmann). Deschamps can put it back, especially if Mbappé is still too fair to start. On one side, he can put Adrien Rabiot back, in order to have more security.
The possible composition of the Blues: Lloris – Pavard, Koundé, Kimpembe, T. Hernandez – Coman (or Diaby), Tchouaméni, Kamara (or Guendouzi), Rabiot – Benzema, Nkunku (or Mbappé).
In 4-3-3, for a return to basics
The 4-3-3 was Deschamps’ preferred pattern when he arrived at the Blues, but he was never fully satisfied, at least over time. He doesn’t really suit the current list, where five of the seven forwards retained prefer to play in the centre, and injuries to Pogba and Kanté have depopulated the midfield. But “DD” can try again.
The possible composition of the Blues: Lloris – Pavard, Koundé, Kimpembe, T. Hernandez – Tchouaméni, Kamara, Rabiot – Coman, Benzema, Mbappé.
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