5 things to look for in France’s warm-up games

5 things to look for in France’s warm-up games

Hope springs eternal, the World Cup is just around the corner. This is the time when teams dream big – no one is here to make up the numbers and everyone believes (well, in not finishing bottom anyway!). But let’s not get carried away, almost all 32 teams have issues – and France is no exception. So, with three warm-up games coming up in the next two weeks, here are five storylines to look out…

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France handed generous draw: Worth getting off the bus for?

I love World Cup draws.  It’s my favourite part of the tournament (seriously!).  If you’re a romantic like me then there’s just something magical about the draw – the geeky geographical match-ups, the thrill of the unknown combined with the exotic nature (literally) of a place like Brazil, the anticipation of not knowing whether your team’s fate will be sealed before a ball is kicked… I even chuckle at the way FIFA rig the pots…

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Preview: France v Ukraine – For Whom The Bell Tolls

Preview: France v Ukraine – For Whom The Bell Tolls

*Doooooooooooooong*  *Doooooooooooooong* Brave? Clever? Too little too late? They can all be used described to Didier Deschamps’s team selection ahead of tonight’s do or die second leg vs Ukraine. I’ll tell you one thing though: he has tied his own noose with this team choice. Of course some changes had to be made…but basically half the team? This smacks of desperation, of a man gasping for air, grasping for anything that can jolt this team…

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Deschamps and France: Searching for an identity

Deschamps and France: Searching for an identity

It’s no exaggeration to say that France has some soul-searching to do.  The World Cup qualifying play-offs are looming large on a sea that is anything but calm.  The qualifying campaign has been fairly efficient considering France was matched with trophy-magnet Spain, but it has hardly been inspiring stuff.  Going into their most recent game against Belarus, Les Bleus had scored 8 goals and conceded 4 in 6 games—safe to say neither the defensive nor…

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Saint-Etienne feeling the strain as cracks begin to show

Saint-Etienne feeling the strain as cracks begin to show

After their midweek defeat at Marseille, Les Verts sit in 6th place with 12 points, which, at first glance, seems just fine.  After all, at this point last season they were mired down in 11th with 8 points and ended up finishing in 5th.  Add to that the fact that they were bound to struggle with the departure of their talismanic ‘Spiderman’, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and life in green doesn’t seem so bad.  Except that the…

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What’s on Didier’s mind?

What’s on Didier’s mind?

Although France still have 5 of 8 qualifiers to play, their finishing spot in the group is likely to be determined over the next week as they host Georgia and then Spain at the Stade de France. Win both and Les Bleus are in the driver’s seat for automatic qualification. 4 points or (gulp) less and they will likely chase Spain all the way to the dreaded barrages. Clearly, the focus is on next Tuesday’s…

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Ten ways for Les Bleus to succeed at Brazil 2014

For our Les Bleus corresspondent Stephane Farenga “The road to World Cup 2014″ starts here—10 things France must excel at in order to be successful in Brazil You read that right. This isn’t about the things France must do to reach the World Cup, it’s about what they need to accomplish in order to be a success there. That’s because I’m assuming they will be there. It’s not so much arrogance, but rather the way…

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5 things to keep on eye on with Les Bleus

France have a great opportunity over the next 2  games to not only refine their play (vs Japan) but to make a serious statement in their World Cup 2014 qualifying group (vs Spain). With that in mind, here are 5 things France need to look at if there are to be successful vs Japan and Spain. 

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