After a superb 3-0 win over Honduras in their opening World Cup game, France take on a spirited Switzerland side who came back from behind to beat Ecuador by 2-1 in the Group E encounter. Didier Deschamps is expected to field an unchanged eleven against Otmar Hitzfeld’s outfit who have the capability to beat any side on their day. Can the Les Blues continue their stunning start and confirm their place in the Round of 16? Or will the young Swiss side steal the thunder. Here is France’s strongest possible lineup against Switzerland.
Hugo Lloris would be desperate to earn a second consecutive clean sheet as the Tottehnham shot stopper hardly had to come out to his side’s rescue against the ten men of Honduras. Lloris, though is expected to be kept busy by the Swiss side with the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Haris Seferovic and Ricardo Rodriguez capable to cut open any side’s defense on their day.
Deschamps isn’t expected to tweak his starting eleven as Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane should be starting alongside Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho in the heart of the defense. Mathieu Debuccy’s brilliant work rate and never say die attitude saw the Newcastle full back play on the right while Manchester United’s Patrice Evra should start in the left back position. Switzerland would try to expose Evra’s lack of pace which might mean that either of the centre backs will have to come out and help the 33 year old.
The midfield revolves around the axis of Paul Pogba, the Juventus youngster who will be widely tipped to play the anchorman role while PSG’s Blaise Matuidi is expected to play the destroyer role in the double pivot of the 4-2-3-1 setup. Former Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye will again be the chief architect of linking the midfield with attack in the final third, the PSG man being a brilliant carrier of the ball. Mathieu Valbuena and Antoine Griezmann will play on either flanks using their creativity to cut inside with their trickery and pace as the French fullbacks will dart forward and overlap at every opportunity.
Karim Benzema’s fine brace against Honduras sees him lead the line on his own. The Real Madrid striker will have ample supply from the backline as Deschamps’ game plan looks clean and simple: play to strengths of your centre forward. Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and QPR’s Loic Remy will be warming the bench but might be called upon if required to change the game late in the second half.