FIFA Ranking: 7 | Projected Group place: 1st
In one of the more predictable groups, France’s star-studded roster brings along with it the highest expectations they’ve had in quite a few years. The roster is spattered with some of the highest priced players in world football over the last couple of years, and they’re in a unique position of having first time world-cuppers also not being totally fresh on the scene. France is chalked full of star and firepower, and should have no issues gliding through the group stage.
Antoine Griezmann – If France is going to be going anywhere in the tournament, it’s going to have a lot to do with the foot of their point man. Coming off a 19 goal campaign in La Liga where his club finished 2nd place, the striker looks to build on the success he’s had in previous international duties, scoring at a rate of a goal every 2 games. Much more is expected of him this time around as he’ll be looked at as the main man on France’s front line. Look to see a lot of Hotline Bling in the coming weeks, unless he’s come up with something extra special.
Paul Pogba – At the time of the last World Cup, he was merely a highly-touted up-and-comer. He had tons of potential but hadn’t really shown in on a big stage. Fast forward 4 years, a (then) record transfer to one of the biggest club on the planet, and a pile of much earned respect as one of the most dynamic playmakers in world football, Paul Pogba is expected to be the main man in France’s quest to take back their place as giants.
Kylian Mbappe – At only 19 years old, he was also one of the highest priced transfers on record, falling behind only his PSG teammate, and perennial Ballon d’or challenger, Neymar. While it’s not known exactly how involved he’ll be when the tournament commences, it’s intriguing to think of how potent this offense could be with him included. My prediction is, he’s going to play a lot, and bring it.
France has one of the easiest roads through the group stage, and one of the most potent rosters entering the tournament. They should have no trouble scoring goals and controlling the midfield, the only way they get beat is breaking down at the back and putting Lloris under too much pressure. I for one am entirely too excited to watch what this lineup can do.