France's World Cup 2022 Standings
Against who France will play?
France's Odds To Win The World Cup
Sports Interaction has listed France as the third-best chance of winning the 2018 World Cup, and you can get odds of +550 on the French side to win the tournament. We are skeptical of their chances, however, and certainly don't believe they are playing at the same level as the Germans, Brazilians or the Spanish teams at the moment.
There are a number of young players that may be included in the final squad, and their success will largely depend on whether or not they can handle the pressure of playing in the world's greatest competition. Kylian Mbappe is only 19, while the whole starting defence in the qualifier against Bulgaria mentioned above were 24 years old or younger.
Our pick for the tournament is a semi-final appearance, although as they are in the same side of the draw as Brazil (assuming they both top their groups as expected), we think they will lose out to the South Americans if they meet in the last four. Sports Interaction offers odds of +120 for the French to make it to the semi-final, while the odds on them making the quarters are relatively good value at -200 considering we think they are certain to reach that stage.
As one of the favourites to win the tournament, you can count on the French to entertain throughout the World Cup, and this also makes them one of the best teams to place a bet on. Don't forget that you will be able to make money off all of France's matches, and with a huge selection of markets available you will have no problem finding the wager that you need.
France's Squad & Key Players
All teams must declare a 30 man squad for the World Cup by the middle of May, while the final 23 man squads don't have to be finalized until the first week of June, just days prior to the tournament start date. We will update you when the team sheets are announced, but first, let's take a look at some of the most important players in the French team and who we think will play a big part in the competition.
Hugo Lloris (Goalkeeper)
If France is going to struggle to create goals then the role of captain Lloris becomes even more critical to the success of his team. He has been pivotal to the success of Tottenham Hotspur over the last few years, and he was required to make several crucial saves throughout qualifying.
Kylian Mbappe (Winger / Striker)
The PSG man is considered one of the most prodigious talents in world football and it is hard to believe he is still just 19 years of age. He has only made ten appearances for the national team, so it will be interesting to see how much game time he receives considering this will be his first tournament, although you would have to think he will be one of the starters considering his form in Ligue 1.
N'golo Kante (Defensive Midfielder)
Not many players can claim to have won the English Premier League title in consecutive seasons with two separate teams, yet that's exactly what Kante achieved in 2015/16 and 2016/17. He was acknowledged as the player of the season with Chelsea and is now recognized as perhaps the best defensive midfielder in the world. He is also incredibly fit and injury-resistant, which makes him the perfect player to build a squad around.
Paul Pogba (Midfielder)
Injury has hampered Pogba's progress at Manchester United over the past two seasons but if fit he is almost guaranteed to start in the French lineup when the World Cup kicks off. He is capable of hitting the back of the net from midfield and scored two important goals during qualification against the Netherlands and Sweden. But it is his passing and vision that sets him apart, and France will go deep in the tournament if he is on his game.
The Coach - Didier Deschamps
As an intelligent defensive midfielder for Marseille, Juventus and Chelsea in a playing career that included over 400 senior appearances, it was always likely that Deschamps would comfortably transition into a successful coach. The great man also received over 100 caps for the French national team and captained the side to the 1998 World Cup and 2000 Euros victories.
Thus far, he has managed at Monaco, Juventus and Marseille, before taking on the national job in 2012, shortly after the side's failure at the 2012 Euros. 72 games, 45 wins and just 14 defeats give him a winning percentage of 62.50% with the French team, although the team certainly hasn't dominated during his tenure. If France doesn't progress past the quarter-finals in the World Cup it will most likely signal the end of his reign.
Deschamps' biggest challenge is managing a team full of world-class players. With so many options, it is often difficult to settle on the best lineup, and with so many players playing at the world's best clubs, it can be hard to keep egos in check. If Deschamps can manage this and lead the French to a World Cup win, he will perhaps go down as French football's greatest ever.
France's World Cup 2022 Lineup
France's latest international was a friendly played against Germany on November 14th, 2017, featuring several fringe players. The World Cup lineup will look more like the one seen in France's 1-0 victory over Bulgaria on October 7th, which was as follows.
Starting Lineup (4-1-2-3)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur) - Lucas Digne (Barcelona), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco) - N'Golo Kante (Chelsea) - Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich) - Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Kylian Mbappe (PSG).
Reserves: Christophe Jallet, Steve Mandanda, Dimitri Payet, Olivier Giroud, Adil Rami, Moussa Sissoko, Alphonse Areola, Adrien Rabiot, Kingsley Coman, Thomas Lemar, Jordan Amavi, Presnel Kimpembe
France's World Cup History
France was one of just four European teams to participate in the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930 and will be making their 15th appearance in the tournament when they travel east to Russia in June 2018. France is also one of the eight nations to have lifted the world's most famous trophy, doing so in front of their home fans in 1998 and beating a heavily favoured Brazilian team in the process.
The French have only won the cup once, although they have been close on four other occasions, making it to the semi-finals in 1958, 1982 and 1986 and were defeated by Italy in the 2006 final via a penalty shootout. The Germans have been the biggest thorn in the side of Les Bleus throughout history - both their 1982 and 1986 semi-final exits were at the hands of West Germany, while they also bowed out in the 2014 tournament after a 1-0 loss to their nemesis.
Despite having one of the best squads at the World Cup over the last twenty years, the French national team has had a topsy-turvy run at the tournament. After their breakthrough victory in 1998, France exited the 2002 competition at the group stage, losing to Senegal and Denmark and failing to score a single goal. In 2006 they returned to the World Cup final, then history repeated itself in 2010 as they scored just once and were defeated by Mexico and South Africa.
It remains to be seen which French side turns up to Russia. They went close to winning the 2016 Euros, losing in the final, and finished top of their group ahead of Sweden and the Netherlands in the UEFA qualifiers. However, they scored just eighteen goals in ten games, eight fewer than Sweden and a whopping 25 less than Germany and Belgium. This is strange for a team that could start Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema, Alexandre Lacazette or Olivier Giroud.