World Cup Fantasy Preview: France

Talent but temperament issues, which will shine in Brazil? - Harry Engels

We round up (I think we do) our preview with the hot or cold side that divides people. Les Blues minus Ribery and Nasri head to Brazil expected to make the QF.

Goalkeepers:

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mickaël Landreau (Bastia)

Defenders:

Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United), Lucas Digne (PSG) Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)

Midfielders:

Yohan Cabaye (PSG), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille), Remy Cabella (Montpellier), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton)

Forwards:

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Loïc Rémy (Newcastle)

Fantasy players to watch

Hugo Lloris

Opinion does seem a little dived on NMA over Mr Lloris.  I'm in the camp that thinks he is an excellent keeper who is still to come to his prime.  he is a fantastic shot stopper, match winner and leader from the back.  Excellent playing the sweeper role its his occasional failure coming from crosses that is the element needing progression.  Playing behind a shocking Tottenham back four last season he was a busy boy and I wonder if the Liverpool hammerings affected peoples opinion.  Whatever the french defence is solid and the group maybe one he can prosper in.

Mathieu Debuchy

Depending on the fantasy game rules Debuchy is a strong option.  A right back who spend most of his time in the oppositions half or final third.  If priced right a thought for many peoples picks and as a player maybe playing to impress for a move to a trophy hunting club once the tournament is over.  The danger is will he or Sagna start?

Paul Pogba

An argument can be made he was one of the outstanding central midfield players last season at Juventus.  Based just on talent it is very surprising Manchester United let him go.  While he already seems to have a strong view on many things I haven't heard too much that he is trouble in a camp.  Scorer of goals and France's driving force.

Yohan Cabaye

We all know about his fantasy returns potential however it has not been an easy transition moving to PSG in the January window.  Playing behind the forward in a group where France could/should enjoy a number of chances he will be a consideration depending on starting price,

Karim Benzema

France no1 and as I type Real Madrid lead forward (may be an Arsenal forward soon once Suarez becomes a Galactico).  He has struggled with the expectation when leading the french line.  Preferring to play in behind the opponents centre backs he may face problems if as expected the group opponents sit deep.  However having watched Ecuador give England's B team chance after chance it could be the tournament the talent finally outs.

Conclusions

France should qualify as group winners but you just never know the mental state of the side.  With Samir Nasri singled out as trouble he has been left at home and the late injury to star forward Frank Ribery is a major blow.  When betting France is always a team to oppose when favorites and be careful of when underdogs.  Winning the group is huge as they will avoid Argentina in round two.  If the team spirit is in the squad they have the talent to at least make it to the QF but they just don't make you feel comfortable do they.


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