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William Gallas Exclusive: Tough For France To Defend Title

William Gallas feels it will be "very hard" for France to defend their World Cup title in Qatar this year. Les Bleus were crowned world champions for the second time in their history in 2018, beating Croatia 4-2 in the final. However, several key players from that winning squad will miss this tournament due to injury, including star midfielders Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante. Gallas, a former France international, believes the number of important absentees could cost his country.


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Tough To Defend

Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: "It will be very hard [for France to win the World Cup]. 

"We have a lot of injuries - no Kante, Pogba - [Presnel] Kimpembe and [Christopher] Nkunku are out. 

"We don’t know about [Raphael] Varane yet. Karim [Benzema] is not available, and some of the players don’t have any experience playing in the World Cup or have that many caps for France. 

"It will be hard for us to bring back the trophy."

FIFA World Cup 2022 Preview

FIFA World Cup 2022 Preview

Deschamps System

In the absence of Pogba and Kante, Gallas speculates about which of France's brightest young talents will be picked to fill the midfield void, and what system manager Didier Deschamps might choose to accommodate them.

"It looks like Deschamps will play a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2," Gallas said. 

"Maybe, for the first game, he will go for a 4-4-2 and then make changes along the way. 

"It will be very important for France to have a strong midfield to protect the team. 

"Aurelien Tchouameni and Youssouf Fofana could be the players he looks at, maybe [Adrien] Rabiot comes in there too. 

"[Antoine] Griezmann could play in the hole behind [Kylian] Mbappe and Benzema. 

"I think he will start with a 4-4-2. The first game is really important, you need a good result."

FIFA World Cup 2022 Golden Boot Preview

FIFA World Cup 2022 Golden Boot Preview

Brazil And Argentina Main Threats

Gallas highlighted Brazil and Argentina as France's main rivals in pursuit of World Cup glory, with England and Portugal also among the teams Gallas expects to pose a threat.

"It’s really hard to pick a winner," Gallas added. 

"If it's possible, I want to see France, Brazil, Argentina and maybe England or Portugal get into the last four. 

"I want to see them go as far as they can in the tournament."

 

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V: 1.22.1 All rights reserved. August 2021
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