Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

Sport

France rethinks strategy ahead of crucial match against Mexico

Video by Owen FAIRCLOUGH

Text by Nicolas DE SCITIVAUX

Latest update : 2010-06-17

After Uruguay's 3-0 victory against South Africa, the stakes are high for France in its match against Mexico on Thursday night. But with only three goals in the last five matches, the task looks daunting for coach Raymond Domenech and "les Bleus".

A few hours ahead of the much-awaited match against Mexico, one question is weighing on the minds of French football fans: how will Raymond Domenech resolve the enigma of the French team’s inability to score?

The question is even more pressing since Uruguay has settled comfortably into the lead of Group A after a 3-0 victory against Cup hosts South Africa.

Unlike in the first match, Florent Malouda is expected to start Thursday night's game playing on the left wing while the position's usual holder, Franck Ribery, moves to the centre.

Gourcuff sacrificed?

Barring any surprise, it is Yoann Gourcuff who will be sacrificed by this tactical reconfiguration. Many observers noted that in the match against Uruguay, Nicolas Anelka often avoided passing the ball to Gourcuff.

Ribery also tried to avoid including Gourcuff in the game.

For these reasons, speculation is rife that Domenech will keep the young star from Brittany on the bench on Thursday.

Who will start at centre?

So who will start as right winger and centre forward?

Sidney Govou put in a disappointing performance on the right in the first match, missing an opportunity to score around the seventh minute.

He therefore could be used as a substitute, with Anelka - who has not played effectively at centre forward the last few matches - starting on the right.

As for centre forward, it could be Thierry Henry, though the player usually takes the left for Barcelona. He does, however, manage to score in important matches, and if France qualified for the World Cup this year, it is in large part thanks to him.

Andre-Pierre Gignac appears to be in the best physical shape, but his middling club season (only eight goals scored in 31 matches) does not make him an automatic starter.

Whatever his choices, Domenech must wake his team up if he wants them to make it to the next round. A loss against Mexico would be seen as a catastrophe, and any victory would need to be by a significant enough margin for France to have a shot at finishing top of their group.

Date created : 2010-06-17

  • WORLD CUP

    Barcelona's Rafael Marquez to lead Mexico against France

    Read more

  • WORLD CUP 2010

    South African police fire stun grenade at protesting Cup guards

    Read more

  • WORLD CUP 2010

    France lose reserve keeper ahead of must-win game

    Read more

COMMENT(S)