I wrote a blog yesterday, querying who would be England’s Number 1 for the World Cup with Gareth Southgate using the friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy to take a look at four candidates. But as we all know England aren’t the only team travelling to Russia and the likes of Didier Deschamps, the France national team manager, will also be evaluating his options for the finals and wow what a glut of players he has at his disposal. The strength in depth of the French national team is simply astonishing. In nearly every position there are a couple of well-known options vying to start in Kazan on Saturday 16th June against Australia.
With Adam Cole’s announcement on Saturday about the structure of the performance dividends at the World Cup;
- Group Stages / 3rd Place Play Off – Single Match Day,
- Round of 16/Quarter Finals – Double Match Day,
- Semi Finals/ Final – Treble Match Day
Indexers’ attentions have turned to who could still be playing in the tournament in the later stages and without a doubt one of the favourites is Didier Deschamps France due to that incredible squad depth. So all eyes will be on who takes part in the matches against Colombia this week and Russia next week. I have previewed the squad to see where any opportunities may lie.
The forward line is a frightening bunch! The French have selected the following six for the upcoming friendlies alone with the likes of Karim Benzema (£1.07) left out:
- Antoine Griezmann (£5.97) – An Index favourite, who has recently been above the £6 marker.
- Kylian Mbappe (£4.33) – The PSG youngster is arguably the best U21 player on the planet and surely set to feature in Russia.
- Anthony Martial (£2.49) – The Manchester United is back in the fold for the national team and his involvement is one to watch in the Friendlies.
- Wissam Ben Yedder (£0.91) – The Sevilla Champions League hero is one of the surprise call-ups for the national team and at 91p offers a lot of value when compared to his peers.
- Olivier Giroud (£1.37) – Much loved by Deschamps and potentially the target man, should he start the friendlies this week offers real value to traders. One to watch.
- Ousmane Dembele (£2.98) – The Barcelona man is back to form with a fine performance against Chelsea in the Champions League last week and will be looking to cement a place in the first team.
In the middle of the park, the big names just keep coming. Plenty of trading opportunities once more:
- N’Golo Kante (£1.07) – Likely to be one of the first names on the team sheet and the engine for the team.
- Paul Pogba (£5.45) – As with Kante, it is hard to imagine Pogba not featuring heavily in Russia and even at this price a good World Cup would drive both media and matchday dividends.
- Blaise Matuidi (£0.85) – At 85p the Juventus man could be a great cheap addition to your portfolio!
- Thomas Lemar (£2.49) – Surely the World Cup is a bonus for Indexers as the transfer rumours alone will be in overdrive all Summer!
- Adrien Rabiot (£1.05) – Similar to Matuidi, Rabiot could be an appealing lower-cost French midfielder for your portfolio if he can break into the team.
- Florian Thauvin (£3.05) – The former Newcastle man’s form has been scintillating this season and his form keeps the likes of Dimitri Payet (£1.10) out of the squad, but the friendlies will show if he is to feature heavily at all.
- Corentin Tollisso (£1.14) – The Bayern Munich lynchpin is in the same boat as Matuidi and Rabiot, all eyes on whether he plays versus Colombia and Russia.
As with all other positions, the club teams of the defenders and goalkeepers are several of Europe’s heavyweights, Atletico, Real, Barcelona, Arsenal and PSG to name a few. The defenders though with overall lower costs offer real value to Indexers, but who starts out of the players below?
- Lucas Digne (£0.76) – The Barca left-back is the cheapest French defender but I’m not sure he will start ahead of ahead of Sidibe if he does in the friendlies there is some potential value here.
- Laurent Koscielny (£1.37) – Could well be one of the first names on the team sheet and with treble Europa League matchday dividends with the Gunners, is a strong option for traders.
- Raphael Varane (£1.19) – At £1.19 the Real Madrid offers real value with Champions League treble match day dividends to come. Will likely be vying with Umtiti for starting XI bragging rights though.
- Lucas Hernandez (£1.19) – The Atleti mani is a debutant for Les Bleus and it will be interesting to see how he features, one to keep an eye on.
- Presnel Kimpenbe (£1.04) – The PSG youngster has played regularly for the Parisians this year and with possible World Cup experience could grow
- Benjamin Pavard (£0.78) – The Stuttgart youngster peaked at 88p at the announcement of his inclusion in the squad and will be hoping to play a part in the friendlies to secure his place on the plane.
- Djibril Sidibe (£1.80) – The attacking Monaco left-back had a high IPO price due to his love of goals and assists and the World Cup could be a real shop window. A good option for Indexers.
- Samuel Umtiti (£1.72) – The Barca defender has enjoyed a fine season with Barcelona and will be competing with Varane to start.
- Hugo Lloris (£0.56) – The French number 1
- Alphonse Areola (£0.91) – PSG’s stopper who will be looking to dislodge Lloris.
- Steven Mandanda (£0.41) – Arguably just making up the numbers but at 41p is a very low risk.
With such an incredible squad it is hard to see how they can’t go far in the tournament! The Friendlies with Colombia and Russia will give traders some hints to Deschamps side and opportunities to profit.