Under fire midfielder Paul Pogba will look to make a compelling case for his inclusion in France’s starting XI when Les Bleus take on the United States in their final friendly before the World Cup. Didier Deschamps’ side have won their last three games but Pogba’s form in their 2-1 victory over Nice has raised more questions than answers with pundits and former players both calling for the Manchester United medio’s exclusion.
Samuel Umtiti, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele (the latter with an exquisite chip) were on target against the Azzurri in Nice while Olivier Giroud and Nabil Fekir netted for Les Bleus against the Irish in Paris.
The United States, one of the high profile casualties of the World Cup qualifying campaign, were last seen in action against Ireland and lost 2-1. Bobby Wood’s 12th international goal had put the USA 1-0 ahead but Graham Burke’s equaliser and Alan Judge’s last minute winner saw the MNT slump to defeat in Dublin, thus ending a four game unbeaten run across all competitions.
The likes of Tim Parker, Luca de la Torre and Shaq Moore were given their national debuts against the Irish, with the trio coming off the bench at the AVIVA Stadium.
The United States have lost their last three competitive games against the French and worse, haven’t scored even a single goal in those fixtures- Les Bleus, by comparison, have netted ten times. That explains why a look at the William Hill mobile app has France as massive favourites. Dider Deschamps’ side also have home advantage to call upon- this fixture is in Lyon’s Groupama Stadium, the same venue that hosted the Europa League final last month between Atletico Madrid and Marseille.
This will be Deschamps’ first game against the United States as French manager. The last meeting between the two sides took place in 2011 when Laurent Blanc was in charge of the national side, with France winning 1-0 thanks to Loic Remy’s 72nd minute effort.
The inexperience in Dave Sarachan’s squad shows, with Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin the only player with more than 50 caps to his name. The French can boast of plenty of experience, especially in the middle of the park and upfront and the MNT will be hoping that young Timothy Weah, the son of the legendary George, can trouble the French backline.
France are in Group C for the World Cup and will kick off their campaign against Australia in Kazan, followed by fixtures against Peru and Denmark.