Alarm bells appear to be ringing when it comes to the French national football team, although this is hardly new territory in the midst of preparations for a World Cup, when the Gallic flair has often been tempered by controversy and apparent disarray. But this time the problems appear to be worse than ever, causing many problems for the reigning champions.
Turmoil surrounding key preparations
Heading into the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar, preparations are hardly ideal according to ESPN, who recently highlighted that everything seems to be descending into chaos. Although head coach Didier Deschamps continues to put on a brave face, he most be seriously concerned about all the distractions which surround his talented squad.
One concern appears to be that of poor morale and certain disharmony, fuelled partially by star striker Kylian Mbappe and his fight with the French Football Federation (FFF), over improving the players’ image rights agreement. Up until recently, the FFF was unwilling to budge, then Mbappe refused to participate in events with team sponsors. Needless to say, this caused a panic at the FFF, especially when other players backed the stance of their teammate.
Then we have a worrying situation surrounding Paul Pogba, who is currently out injured with a torn meniscus. That alone is concerning for Deschamps, who hopes the midfielder will have recovered enough when the World Cup begins. In the meantime and equally disconcerting, Pogba has been under police protection in Italy, following extortion attempts by a group of childhood friends, which even allegedly involved his own brother Mathias.
Injury woes and poor form
Aside from troublesome issues away from the pitch causing France problems, their own form on the pitch is far from positive of late. The UEFA Nations League campaign was nothing short of a disaster, winning just one from six of the League A Group 1 games, drawing twice and losing three. In fact, they only narrowly avoided relegation to League B, finishing just one point above Austria in fourth position.
But we should also add some context to the recent results for France, including an awful display that resulted in the 2-0 UEFA Nations League defeat against Denmark, one of the rival teams they will also face in Group D at the World Cup. Over the last few months, the French squad has been practically decimated by injuries, with some of their most important players unavailable.
For their two most recent games, France were without first choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Likewise, defenders Ibrahima Konate, Presnel Kimpembe, plus brothers Lucas and Theo Hernandez were absent. The midfield was also decimated, with Paul Pogba, Boubacar Kamara, N’Golo Kante, and Adrian Rabiot missing, along with forwards Karim Benzema and Kingsley Coman. However, all should hopefully be fit and ready in time for the World Cup.
France still rated amongst the favourites
Regardless of all the aforementioned factors, and the growing sense of doom and gloom about the French sporting media, their national football team does retain high expectations. Indeed, the latest odds continue to suggest that Les Bleus are one of the strong favourites, capable of defending the title they won in 2018 and lifting the iconic golden trophy again.
Large numbers of people also continue to back France as potential World Cup winners. This is one factor at play whenever we look at the ebb and flow of betting odds, although if we seek insights that make a real difference, the latest guide from SBO covers all angles. This includes recommending the best and most reliable betting sites, based upon evaluating the competitiveness of odds and bonuses, along with proven strategies and staking plans.
Bookmakers also appear convinced that once all the dust settles, and the French team finally gets their World Cup campaign underway, every player will be fully focused on the task at hand. This is an exceptionally talented squad, after all, boasting some of the greatest strength in depth across every position on the pitch. For this reason alone, France will always be one of the front runners to win the tournament, should they perform to their capabilities.