The French squad is stacked with quality players, so they are expected to get a long way in Russia.
France World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
France qualified for the 2018 World Cup by topping European Group A, but Sweden pushed them all the way to the final round of matches. Didier Deschamps’ team needed a win in their last game against Belarus to be sure of going to Russia and delivered a 2-1 victory at Stade de France.
Related: World Cup TV Schedule
Key Moments in Qualifying
Memories of a laborious 0-0 draw with Belarus are banished by an impressive 4-1 home win over Bulgaria – despite falling behind to a sixth-minute penalty.
Facing Sweden in Solna, keeper Hugo Lloris commits a howler in added time, messing up a clearance that allows Ola Toivonen to score from the halfway line as France lose 2-1.
Thomas Lemar scores twice in a 4-0 win over Holland. Kylian Mbappe scores his first international goal and Deschamps’ team go top of the group as Sweden lose 3-2 in Bulgaria.
First-half goals from Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud wrap up qualification with a 2-1 victory at home to Belarus.
Related: Franck Ribery December 2005
France World Cup Group
France World Cup Friendlies
France will play Colombia on the 23rd of March, and then the World Cup hosts Russia four days later. The Republic of Ireland come to town on the 28th of May, and Les Bleus will play Giorgio Chiellini and Italy, and the USA on the 1st and 9th of June respectively.
- 23rd March – Colombia
- 27th March – Russia
- 28th May – Republic of Ireland
- 1st June – Italy
- 9th June – USA
Related: World Cup Friendlies
France World Cup Fixtures
France will open their World Cup account against Australia on the 16th of June, followed by Peru and then Denmark on the 21st and 26th.
- 16th June – Australia
- 21st June – Peru
- 26th June – Denmark
Related: Christian Eriksen May 2010
Didier Deschamps, age 49 (15.10.68)
The former France captain won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 as a player before taking over as the country’s coach in 2012. Known for his no-nonsense style, his mistrust of the press and an ability to make tough decisions, he signed a contract extension in October that will keep him in charge until 2020.
Antoine Griezmann is one of the most coveted attackers in the game. Teen striker Kylian Mbappe is being hailed as one of the world’s most exciting talents.
Goalkeeper and national team skipper Hugo Lloris is fast closing in on a century of appearances. Rafael Varane brings calm and authority to the centre of defence, while Blaise Matuidi remains a Deschamps favourite in midfield.
Karim Benzema is technically available for selection after his alleged involvement in a sex-tape scandal in 2015, but the striker hasn’t been picked for more than two years. Left-back Benjamin Mendy has been out injured since September.
Mbappe and Mendy both made their debuts in a 3-1 win in Luxembourg.
France World Cup Squad
France are yet to announce their 2018 World Cup squad.
France World Cup Injuries
We will update you with French injuries regularly.
Related: World Cup Stadiums
The Unanswered Questions
Will Didier Deschamps stick to his preferred 4-3-3 system?
Having dabbled with 4-4-2, will he be daring and flexible enough to employ other systems? With the defensive talent at his disposal, three at the back isn’t unimaginable.
Related: Antoine Griezmann November 2011
Can N’Golo Kante establish himself as a world star?
Acknowledged as the Premier League’s best midfielder last season, the Chelsea player now needs to make his mark at international level.
Will this be the World Cup that establishes Paul Pogba?
The midfielder has all the attributes to become a world star, but he’s not there yet. Russia could be the stage on which that all changes.
Will there be any surprise selections?
France have so much talent it’s frightening. Defender Aymeric Laporte, midfielders Tiemoue Bakayoko and Wylan Cyprien, and striker Moussa Dembele are among those pushing
for a place.
Related: World Cup Fixtures
Is today’s France better than the team that made it to the Final of Euro 2016?
Quite possibly, as they have more athletic full-backs to call on and some audacious youngsters emerging up front. Deschamps has tons of talent at his disposal but needs to make the team gel sufficiently to go all the way.
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