The road to retain the title for Les Blues starts this week in the World Cup 2022 European Qualifiers. Being grouped with Ukraine, Bosnia Herzegovina, Finland and Kazakhstan in Group D, they will be hosting Ukraine as an opener in the midweek before taking on Kazakhstan and Bosnia in the next three and six days later. Andrey Shevchenko’s men are looking for the second appearance in the world cup final round after their debut in 2006 when Shevchenko was still playing. They are one tricky contender for Antoine Griezmann and Co.
Both teams’ latest news
France decided to include all the regular names in Les Blues squad. None is suffering any injury. The only name in doubt for the line up is Paul Pogba who has just regained his fitness. Tottenham’s midfielder is back on the squad since his last call-up in late 2019.
Some names in Ukraine regular squad such as Taras Stepanenko, Artem Besedin and Viktor Tsygankov are unavailable due to their injury, while Ihor Kharatin and Viktor Korniienko are contracted to COVID-19. Shevchenko also determines to name four debutantes in the squad. They are SC Dnipro’s Artem Dovbynk, Dynamo Kiev’s Olexander Syrota, Vorlska Poltava’s Dymitro Riznyk and Shakhtar goalkeeper, Anatoly Trubin.
Didier Deschamps is likely to opt for 4-3-1-2 again with Mbappe and Giroud upfront supported by Antoine Griezmann behind them as the number ten. In the midfield,NGolo Kante, Tanguy Ndombele and Thomas Lemar will be operating the area.
Meanwhile, Andrey Shevchenko might deploy 4-3-3 formation. West Ham’s Andrey Yarmolenko will be featuring the front three role alongside Olexander Zubkov and Gent’s forward Roman Yaremchuk. They will gain support from Atalanta man Ruslan Malinovsky as the anchorman plus versatile Manchester City midfielder Olexander Zichenko from the second line.
Players to watch
Barcelona frontman Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe remain the key figures in leading the attack. They both have scored 33 and 16 goals each. Another notable name to watch is NGolo Kante.
The verstile midfielder, Ruslan Malinovsky is the vital figure in Ukraine’s system. He has earned 32 caps and netted 6 goals. Some other vital figures to focus on are Olexandre Zichenko and the frontman Roman Yaremchuk.
France vs Ukraine Predictions
Les Blues is certainly a favorite in this fixture. They will have no difficulty in securing their first victory here considering their excellent form in UEFA Nations League while Ukraine is without one of their key defensive midfielder, Taras Stephanenko. A definite home win here.
Deschamps’ men are still regarded as the favourite in this clash. They are projected to win at 2/7 while Ukraine is in the win market at 12/1. The draw result is at the value of 5/1.