Special envoy to Nice
We're not going to tell you a story and make you look like liars. Apart from winning against the 198th FIFA nation on Saturday evening in Nice (8:45 p.m., TF1), in order to validate the top seed status for the next Euro draw on December 2, the interest of this encounter is quite weak. The Blues will, barring a huge surprise, win largely and there will not be much to learn from this game as the adversity looks weak. “I'm not going to scare the players but respect the opponent with this specific match against a regrouped team, like we had there,” says “DD”. I understand that they have no worries, there is no need to have any, beyond doing the job, that is to say winning. With all respect to Gibraltar, no one can think that they are going to create difficulties for us.” If we want to be optimistic, the main interest of this meeting will lie in witnessing the beginning of the beautiful story of Warren Zaire-Emery in the French team. A highly anticipated premiere in a sold-out stadium.
Also read: Hazing, homework, head to head with Deschamps... Warren Zaire-Emery's crazy week with the Blues
Without too much surprise, Warren Zaire-Emery should celebrate his first start with the Blues. In any case, this is what resulted from Didier Deschamps’ match eve setup. The Parisian will be associated with Adrien Rabiot and Antoine Griezmann in the middle. In the rest of the probable eleven, Jean-Clair Todibo, local to the Riviera stage, was aligned with Dayot Upamecano in central defense. The opportunity for him to score points with a view to the Euro in view of the XXL competition in this sector of play. On the right, Jonathan Clauss will be renewed, just like Théo Hernandez on the left in front of Mike Maignan, starting on Saturday but who should give way to Brice Samba on Tuesday in Athens. In attack, as expected, Marcus Thuram would be preferred to Giroud and Kolo Muani, surrounded by Kylian Mbappé and Kingsley Coman.
The probable eleven of the Blues Maignan - Clauss, Todibo, Upamecano, T. Hernandez - Zaire-Emery, Rabiot - Coman, Griezmann, Mbappé (cap) - Thuram
With Paris SG, he is already early on a number of records. Youngest in history to play in Ligue 1, to score, to compete in the Champions League... In the French team, it's almost the same thing. Big attraction of the last camp of the year, the Parisian should become on Saturday evening the youngest player to wear the blue jersey since… 1911. At 17 years, 8 months and 10 days. He would therefore be the youngest French international post-war. “He is fascinating, testifies his captain Kylian Mbappé, under the spell. The other day he was doing his homework (Zaire-Emery is in his final year of STMG) at Clairefontaine after training, it’s nonsense.” Throughout the week, “WZE” acclimatized to the A, before gaining strength and obviously everyone is waiting to see him against Gibraltar. The moment is ideal, without pressure for results and facing a weak opponent, to make a mark for the Euro.
Also read “Yesterday, I was doing my Spanish homework,” confides Zaire-Emery, who juggles between studies and training with the Blues
Since mid-June and a press conference in Faro which had annoyed him because the vast majority of questions revolved around his future at PSG, Kylian Mbappé had been conspicuous by his absence from the media. Friday evening in the aisles of the Allianz Riviera, he presented himself with a smile but determined to communicate. “I announced from my first speech that I would not do all the press conferences and that I am not Antoine Griezmann's hierarchical superior,” he whispers to explain the reasons for his silence. I did the first three press conferences, he did the next three. I also said that we would leave the door to new leaders. Mike Maignan came, Aurélien Tchouaméni too. The coach told me to come back and I do what he tells me. It is a desire to share leadership. I never hid, I always assumed. I sent my letter (to PSG) and I appeared in front of the media a week later and I got nine questions out of 11 about PSG, one about the Olympics and one about Gibraltar because I asked for it ...I'm not afraid to come here. The France team is not my team. It does not belong to anyone, we are all at its service, there are several leaders, I am one of them and that is why I am here today. For 15 minutes, he answered everything… except the questions about his future.
Without disrespect to the Blues' opponent, not much. They are teachers, coast guards or customs agents, and they will face the French team on Saturday in Nice. Gibraltar's players, most of them amateurs, are seeing the end of painful qualifiers, whose results (6 defeats) are the opposite of those of the Blues (6 victories), already qualified for Euro 2024. Gibraltar has not won only 8 of his 82 official matches, for 30 goals scored and 271 conceded. His most prestigious victory? It was October 13, 2018 in Armenia (101st in the world at the time), 0-1 success in the Nations League. Glorious times, because the year 2023 is very dark. Gibraltar is on course to end the year with zero goals scored, an unprecedented in its history