The moment of truth is approaching. On May 18, Didier Deschamps will unveil on TF1 and M6 the list of Blues selected to participate in Euro 2020, organized in 2021 due to the coronavirus epidemic. As usual, there will be happy and disappointed people. But maybe a little less than usual … On Tuesday, UEFA responded favorably to the request of several coaches, Roberto Mancini in the lead, who wanted the lists of players selected for the European Championship to be enlarged. The governing body of European football therefore formalized the news via a press release explaining why it had said yes.
“In order to reduce the risk that teams find themselves with too few players available for certain matches due to positive tests for COVID-19 and the quarantine measures imposed as a result by the competent authorities, it was decided, to exceptionally, to increase the numbers to 26 players for all participating teams. However, a maximum of 23 players may be entered on the match sheet for each match (in accordance with Law 3 of the IFAB Laws of the Game, which allows a maximum of 12 substitutes for matches of national A teams), including three goalkeepers. . After the submission of the list of players on June 1, 2021, the current regulations allow an unlimited number of substitutions in the event of serious injury or illness before the first match, subject to the presentation of a medical certificate ”.
Deschamps will have the choice
Didier Deschamps will therefore be able to call on 26 players in total. This will allow him to explore various possibilities. Last March, during the last list before the Euro, the former OM coach had already selected 26 players. Four goalkeepers (Areola, Lloris, Maignan, Mandanda), nine defenders (Digne, Dubois, Hernandez, Kimpembe, Lenglet, Mendy, Pavard, Varane, Zouma), four midfielders (Ndombele, Pogba, Rabiot, Sissoko, Kanté who had been forfeited finally) and eight attackers (Ben Yedder, Coman, O.Dembélé, Giroud, Griezmann, Lemar, Martial, Mbappé). If DD could decide to go back to the same list, it should still be different this time around. A priori, he should only take three guards with him. Captain Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda and Mike Maignan seem to have a head start on Alphonse Areola.
If this were confirmed, there would remain vacant places and Deschamps would thus call on 23 field players. Presumably one per line. In defense, the French coach used to call on eight players. Often four central and four lateral (two on the right, two on the left). This was also the case at the World Cup in Russia. This time, nine elements could be summoned. If some should be there (Digne, Dubois, Hernandez, Kimpembe, Lenglet, Pavard, Varane), others can still hope to stamp their ticket. There are a priori two places to take. In the axis, Dayot Upamecano and Kurt Zouma, present in March, even Jules Koundé (called with the Hopes), have their say. Capable both right and left, the side Ferland Mendy, can count on his versatility to interfere in the list. Especially since Deschamps can also be tempted to shift Lucas Hernandez in the axis.
Still a few places to take
In the middle of the field, DD had taken 5 specialists of the position in 2018. This time, six players could accompany him to the conquest of Europe. Ndombele, Pogba, Rabiot and Sissoko should be there. But we must also add the indestructible N’Golo Kanté, injured last month. Several circles can still hope to be among them. World champion in 2018, Steven Nzonzi has the experience and the advantage of knowing the Blues and Deschamps well. The same goes for Blaise Matuidi. Exiled in MLS, however, he seems far from the Blues. Operated for a ruptured tendon in the quadriceps of the left thigh, Corentin Tolisso, he could resume at the end of May. Certainly too fair. Finally, there are the cases of Eduardo Camavinga, Houssem Aouar and Boubacar Kamara, who should be called up with the Hopes for Euro 2021.
Finally, 8 attackers could be on the trip. If Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, Kingsley Coman or even Ousmane Dembélé are a priori guaranteed to be there, behind there is a battle between Thomas Lemar, Anthony Martial, Wissam Ben Yedder, Nabil Fekir or Marcus Thuram. Present in Russia three years ago, Florian Thauvin seems out of the race. Well back in recent weeks in Marseille, Dimitri Payet is also fair. Finally, elements like Karim Benzema, author of a season of madness at Real Madrid, or Alexandre Lacazette will not take advantage of this expansion of the list to return. Didier Deschamps still has two weeks to refine his famous list. The ball is in his court !