Table of Contents
Exiting at the top of Group F, the French team will find Switzerland in the round of 16 of Euro 2020, this Monday, June 28. However, Didier Deschamps should probably do without his two left side, injured. Under these conditions, it is possible that the coach of the Blues opts for a 3-5-2, which would be consistent in many respects. Explanations.
“The most worrying is Lucas Digne. Because it’s a muscle injury, he felt a pull behind the thigh. For him it will be very complicated (for the rest of the Euro). We’ll see in the next few days, but hey. When there is a muscle injury to the hamstrings, it is never a good sign. Lucas Hernandez had a little problem on his knee which reacted a bit so I didn’t want to take any risks. Unfortunately in the same game, I lost both. To see for Lucas Hernandez in the coming days. “
In a post-match press conference, Didier Deschamps seemed a bit dejected concerning the injuries of his two left-backs before attacking the knockout phase of Euro 2020, which will begin on Monday, June 28 with an eighth of final against Switzerland. After opting for a 4-4-2 diamond moving against Germany and Hungary then an asymmetrical 4-3-1-2 against Portugal, the Blues coach could bring out his 3-5-2, which he had used against Albania in November 2019 and against Sweden in September 2020. A tactical device that could solve several problems.
Fill in the absence of a true left-back by adding a third central defender and a more offensive piston
51st minute against Portugal, Lucas Digne stretches along the touchline. The Everton player suffered a hamstring injury and needs to be replaced. Lucas Hernandez already out at the break, Didier Deschamps consults his deputy Guy Stephan and calls Adrien Rabiot. The former Parisian, who has never played for the left-back position before, feels fit to occupy this position and comes into play in the next minute. Surprisingly, he rather gave satisfaction by showing a lot of enthusiasm on both sides from the field, even allowing himself a few ball percussions which were good for the Blues. What will allow him to occupy this position during the next match?
If the assumption deserves to be raised, another option is possible: to go to three central defenders and to make play Adrien Rabiot a notch above in left piston. In this configuration, the usual midfielder would be covered directly behind his back by a defender or even by one of the defensive midfielders. He would thus have the leisure to project himself forward without having to worry too much about what happens behind him in the event of a counter-attack. Against Portugal, his sometimes approximate defensive positioning and his tendency to play very high could have been better exploited by the opponent. Against Switzerland, as a left piston, he could repeat what he did well with the ball against Portugal but under even better conditions.
In a 3-5-2, Adrien Rabiot could throw the ball to the feet while being covered in his back by the left axial (Kimpembe) or even by Kanté
Having Adrien Rabiot in the left piston would at the same time be interesting for the defensive cover of Kylian Mbappé, the free electron of the left lane. The PSG striker would therefore be covered by Adrien Rabiot, who would be covered by the left axial (Kimpembe or Lenglet), who himself would be covered by the central defender. A balance that generally pleases Didier Deschamps, who could align a more offensive piston to the right.
Having Adrien Rabiot in the left piston allowed good coverage for Kylian Mbappé, who is a free and crucial offensive element for the Blues. Behind Rabiot, several mutual covers could be done very easily and naturally
Coman to dynamite the right side of the Blues?
Coming into play in the 66th minute against Portugal, Kingsley Coman played his first minutes at Euro 2020. In less than half an hour, the Bayern Munich winger showed very good things and brought great success. the percussion which was sorely lacking in the right lane of the Blues since the start of the competition.
Whether in the 4-4-2 moving diamond or in the asymmetric 4-3-1-2, the right side of the Blues lacked sparks compared to the opposite lane. This is explained by the defensive profile of the men aligned on the right, Pavard, Koundé on the side and Tolisso in the eccentric midfield, and the more offensive profile of the players aligned on the left with Mbappé, Digne and Hernandez (who with the team of France throws itself forward enormously as we saw during the goal against Germany).
To add uncertainty to the opponent and diversity to his attack, Didier Deschamps could therefore decide to develop Kingsley Coman as a right piston and who, like Rabiot, would be covered by a defender behind his back or even a midfielder. of ground by level its possible faults on the defensive plan.
As a right piston, Coman could perform one-on-one, a phase where he excels, while being covered behind his back by a central defender.
Illustration of mutual coverages (direct in green and indirect in sky blue) which would be carried out in this device in 3-5-2
Obviously, the other option would be to align Léo Dubois in the right piston, more used to evolving in this position whether with the France team or with Olympique Lyonnais but the latter would not bring the same impact as a Kingsley Coman and would also be significantly less effective in the last third of the field and the opposing penalty area.
Another possible option would be to see Leo Dubois in the right piston
Another option possible with Pavard axially on the right to support Coman
And another option with Pavard in right piston with the addition of Clément Lenglet in left axial
Considering that Kingsley Coman is not reluctant to perform defensive tasks and that he generally keeps his lane well, it therefore remains a more than credible option in this position and in the long term if this device were to be completely adopted for the rest of the competition. Which is not likely today but which in any case seems ideal against Switzerland.
A 3-5-2 to block another 3-5-2
Faced with the German 3-4-3 and the Hungarian 3-5-2, Didier Deschamps had not changed his structure by keeping his 4-4-2 diamond set up during the preparation matches. If he gave full satisfaction against Germany thanks to the incredible energy and strength released by his players in the duels, he was much less convincing against Hungary.
Typically, three-defender and two-piston systems create a structural disadvantage for a team defending with two lines of fours or a diamond-shaped midfielder, since the pistons will fit between an off-center midfielder and a fullback, which will create gaps. breaches in the defense.
Faced with a 3-5-2, a 4-4-2 diamond device can cause problems when the opposing pistons are affected because if the side goes out, this creates a gap between his central and him that can be exploited by the opponent.
Against Hungary, the Blues were precisely trapped in this way with a simple reversal of play to the left piston Fiola, which caused inconvenience in the French defense.
The Hungarian goal scored against France started from a reversal of play by Nagy towards the left piston Fiola. Aligned with his defense partners at the start of the action, Pavard will come out on the Hungarian piston
When Fiola controls the ball, Pavard is already out on him and a gap has been created between him and Raphael Varane
The breach is exploited by Fiola, who quickly throws himself into Pavard’s back after a simple support with a relay partner
This breach would have been sealed with the addition of a third central defender (red circle)
Against Switzerland, France will again face a 3-5-2 device. To avoid the same mistakes as against Hungary, playing yourself in 3-5-2 remains more suitable because any structural breaches are automatically canceled by the disposition of the players on the field. Moreover, qualitatively, in direct oppositions, the French 3-5-2 is superior to the Swiss 3-5-2 on paper.
Here is an example of coverage in a 3-5-2 with the cancellation of a possible breach created by the piston on the sides
The French 3-5-2 and its qualitative superiority on paper against the Swiss 3-5-2
The French 3-5-2 could also be asymmetrical with imbalance on the right and balance on the left to hide the absence of a real side
This device therefore also gives the opportunity to Didier Deschamps to keep his attacking trio Griezmann-Mbappé-Benzema while maintaining, according to the animation, the asymmetrical side that he likes so much. Enough to tip the balance definitively for the 3-5-2 against Switzerland? To get the answer, we will have to wait this Monday evening (9 p.m.) at the National Arena in Bucharest.