During the 2018 World Cup, won by France, the Blues had a sacred defense. Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez on the sides, Raphaël Varane and Samuel Umtiti in the central axis, the Habs had conceded only six goals (including three against Argentina alone). Yes, but there you go, it could be a little different this time.
To begin with, Samuel Umtiti is not in the group, since he has a knee injury, an injury he has been trailing from the Russian World Cup. However, Benjamin Pavard is not worried: ” it is also good, we are on 4 clean sheets, it’s not bad, I hope that we will continue this series. Samuel did the job and had knee problems. But Presn (Kimpembe, editor’s note) is performing well with PSG and the France team “.
Long season for Kimpembe, difficult for Varane
Precisely, Presnel Kimpembe seems the one to whom Deschamps turns to accompany Raphaël Varane. Rather good with Paris SG this season, he ended the season on his knees and made many mistakes at the end of the championship, as in the Champions League. Under the orders of Thomas Tuchel, then Mauricio Pochettino, he was the second most used player behind Kylian Mbappé with 40 matches played (3311 minutes).
We can therefore think that the risk of injury is great, without necessarily forgetting a possible mental wear and tear. Next to him, Varane is of course the indisputable holder in central defense at Real Madrid, but he is very far from having a big season and he even made a few balls which earned him some taunts from observers. On the sides, a priori, no problem. Finally if, only one: the state of form of Lucas Hernandez, released twice at half-time for knee discomfort.
The replacements not really reassuring
To replace him, it’s simple, there is Lucas Digne. The Everton side is not really fantastic, but he is super consistent and does the job extremely well, this is not necessarily the case with the substitutes. In central defense, we find Clément Lenglet, the defender of Barça, who is not at best mentally, also under fire from critics for his poor season. Kurt Zouma, too, is there, and he has even become almost an indisputable holder in the Blues (36 matches, 32 starts).
Finally, Jules Koundé is a central defender, but in Seville he has sometimes evolved on the right flank. This is what Deschamps seems to favor, since he made him return to this position against Wales. Léo Dubois is also present, but he still seems to have demoted in the hierarchy. The defense seems more feverish this time, even more when compared to the attack, but there is no danger in the remainder, as said Benjamin Pavard, the Blues remain on four games without conceding a goal.