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France football team managed to finish their FIFA World Cup preparations, probably in a best possible way. They achieved 8-0 win over Jamaica at Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille on Sunday. After having been blown by the news Franck Ribery injured and will not be fit for the tournament, Didier Deschamps’ men went proving that they could still manage hopes for the France team in Brazil World Cup.
Karim Benzema, Blaise Matuidi and Antoine Griezmann scored two goals each. Yohan Cabaye and Olivier Giroud added the other two goals. The fear caused by Ribery’s confirmed absence earlier in the week was well and truly blown away after this preparation match.
Deschamps finally sought another way to improve Les Bleus’ potency going forward. He decided to deploy Benzema on the left of a loose three-man attacking unit. Now it becomes the familiar 4-3-3 formation. Giroud has to reprise his central role and Mathieu Valbuena once again featuring on the right side.
The evidence of this result can be considered a masterstroke from the 45-year-old coach.
Though Valbuena was unable to find the net himself, he was the star once again. He proved why he is the man whom opponents will have to fear when faced with the French. He was the key in a handful of goals, especially for the first three, he linked up superbly with Giroud and Karim Benzema.
Even Karim Benzema’s roaming role empowered Valbuena. He managed to get the best out of both creatively. Benzema also showed great accuracy in front of goal this night. His club performance was a bit disappointing this season. But now he appears to be in perfect form heading to Brazil world cup 2014. Possibly he will remain key to Deschamps’ strategies.
The Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema was another major positive on the night. He is continuing to show the confidence that has grown exponentially. The first against Australia back in October and then the second goal in 3-0 play-off win over Ukraine.
Benzema showed in his 80-minute display that he is capable of stepping up and playing one of the decisive roles. He got his two goals exceptionally well. He also linked up superbly with Giroud and particularly Valbuena.
May be these positives should also be tempered by the fact that we have seen this before.
Just before the 2012 UEFA European Championship in Poland and Ukraine, Karim Benzema looked unplayable. But at the final round he failed to score and did precious little else as Laurent Blanc’s side ended its campaign scathingly.
The France team knows what Benzema is capable of. Just he needs to produce these sorts of performances once Les Tricolores arrive in South America. Not only in meaningless friendly matches but also in real competitions.
Along with the system and the shape, France team managed to bring out the best out of the 26-year-old. He was able to roam freely which in turn freed Valbuena too, for that night.
After Franck Ribery injured, France still have four in-form attacking talents heading to Brazil. Which should definitely frighten opponents. For the first two matches it was three as Benzema missed them because of Champions League Final.
This kind of impressive performance will be needed to advance from Group E comfortably. Switzerland is arguably the better of their three group-stage adversaries. They managed only a 1-0 win over the same Jamaica side just over one week earlier of this practice match.
Deschamps is probably a little worried about his defense, as it was not really tested. But the forward is quite a cause for him to be happy after Franck Ribery injured. And with an improved performance he can prepare to travel to Brazil.
The French camp has proven that they can be still hopeful after Franck Ribery injured.
Though the Bayern man will be a sore miss at the tournament. Perhaps he will be missed much by those who were keen to see the player who finished third in the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or award, in the World Cup. But Les Bleus, on this evidence probably will not miss him greatly. There are truly other talented options who now appear capable of stepping up in his absence for the Team.
Though a lot will depend on the upcoming week, but this early signs can be considered blessings for France.