Poland measures the ambition of the champion
France entrusts itself to Mbappé in search of the quarterfinals against a Lewandowski who wants to vindicate himself
MADRID, 3 Dic. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The French team begins this Sunday against Poland (4:00 p.m. / World Goal and Movistar), in their round of 16 match of the World Cup in Qatar, the road to the qualifiers to defend the title, in a match for which Didier Deschamps recovers to their headlines after the setback against Tunisia and in which Robert Lewandowski hopes to vindicate himself in the World Cup in search of surprise.
For the first time since Germany 2006, the reigning world champions have managed to get past the group stage; Italy, Spain and Germany missed the target and fell at the first opportunity in the World Cup after lifting the trophy, and the 'Bleus' have managed to end that curse 16 years later, moreover, as group leaders. Now, they also hope to become the first champion to repeat the title in 60 years -after Brazil in 1958 and 1962-.
The defeat on the third and final day of Group D against Tunisia (1-0) did not change the path of Didier Deschamps' men, who had already secured their place in the round of 16 with the wins against Australia (4-1) and Denmark (2-1), the first with more solvency and the second somewhat more in a hurry and resolved in the final minutes with a brace from Kylian Mbappé.
The French coach, one of the only three professionals along with the Brazilian Mario Zagallo and the German Franz Beckenbauer to win a World Cup as a player and as a coach, took advantage of the duel against the Tunisians to rotate, but now, at the start of the qualifying rounds, he will recover his favorite eleven.
Thus, the Paris Saint-Germain forward will start again, the second player in history to score seven goals in World Cups before he was 24 years old after Pelé; the athletic Antoine Griezmann or the Barcelona player Ousmane Dembélé, all of them substitutes against Denmark.
Opposite, also looking to meet in the quarterfinals with the winner of the duel between England and Senegal, will be Poland, which finished second in Group C despite losing on the last day against the leader Argentina (0-2). Czeslaw Michniewicz's men made their debut with a draw against Mexico (0-0), but reacted with an ultimately vital victory against Saudi Arabia (2-0).
In their first time in the round of 16 of a World Cup since 1986, the 'Águilas Blancas' need to recover their best version after not shooting on goal against the albiceleste, and for this they will again entrust themselves to a Robert Lewandowski who wants to recover his scoring nose.
The 34-year-old FC Barcelona striker scored his first World Cup goal against the Saudi team, which he celebrated through tears of emotion, and thus managed to get even for the missed penalty against the Mexicans. Together with the attacker from Juventus Arkadiusz Milik he will try to overcome the French lines.
The French and the Poles have only met once in a World Cup final phase, in Spain'82, in the match for third place at the José Rico Pérez in Alicante; despite the fact that the 'Bleus' managed to get ahead, they suffered the comeback of the Eastern European team (3-2) and had to settle for the final fourth place. In total, the balance between the two teams is eight French victories, three Polish and five draws.
FRANCE: Lloris; Kound, Upamecano, Varane, Theo Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot, Griezmann; Dembele, Giroud and Mbappe.
POLONIA: Szczesny; Bereszynski, Kiwior, Glik, Cash; Frankowski, Szymanski, Bielik, Zielinski; Milik and Lewandowski.
--REFEREE: Jesús Valenzuela (VEN).
--STADIUM: Al Thumama.
--TIME: 4:00 p.m./Gol Mundial and Movistar.