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Giroud expected to be fit, Pogba to start against Australia - Deschamps

14 June 2018

The home win in 1998 was the last time France won the ultimate prize in world football and now 20 years later, expectations are high for the 23-man squad travelling to Russian Federation for this year's tournament.

Didier Deschamps said midfielder Paul Pogba, whose performances for France have been underwhelming during the recent friendlies, is "very likely" to start the World Cup opener against Australia.

Pogba was named as FIFA's Best Young Player of the 2014 World Cup, and Petit has urged the Manchester United man to build on that success to help Les Bleus emerge victorious in Russian Federation.

"He's more talented than any midfielder of my generation".

The 1998 World Cup winners were drawn in Group C and will face Australia in Kazan on June 16, Peru in Yekaterinburg on June 21 and Denmark in Moscow on June 26. I wish we could have Pogba like this every game.

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"If you're 1-0 up, you're not bringing him on to close the game down".

Therefore, dropping Pogba encourages Deschamps to use a 4-2-3-1 formation, one more suited to counter-attacking football, a style of play that better fits France's personnel.

N'Golo Kante will also play in the French midfield, but the other spot is up for grabs between Blaise Matuidi of Juventus and Bayern Munich's Corentin Tolisso.

Taking a page out of Luis Enrique's book whilst he managed Barcelona, France could bypass the midfield altogether, focussing on quick transitions from back to front, with long balls from defence into a front three of Griezmann, Mbappe and Dembele, allowing the trio to work their magic with freedom in the final third.

Let us know your thoughts on how Pogba and France will fare at this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation.

Giroud expected to be fit, Pogba to start against Australia - Deschamps