Karim Benzema netted twice for France in the opening game against Honduras, and Les Bleus will be hoping for more of the same versus Switzerland.SALVADOR, Brazil — France boss Didier Deschamps is likely to name an unchanged starting lineup for Friday’s clash with Switzerland, but opposite number Ottmar Hitzfeld must decide whether to reward those who made such an impact in the country’s World Cup opener against Ecuador.
The Swiss looked set to suffer a shock defeat in Brasilia on Sunday, having fallen behind to Enner Valencia’s first-half header. However, Admir Mehmedi equalized three minutes after being introduced during the interval, while another substitute, Haris Seferovic, swept home the winner with seconds remaining.
Mehmedi came on for Valentin Stocker, who had a desperately ineffective opening 45 minutes, while Granit Xhaka also underwhelmed in behind striker Josip Drmic. However, the early indications are that Mehmedi will again be restricted to the role of impact substitute.
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The Swiss could make one change, though. Johann Djourou was criticized for his performance against Ecuador, primarily for failing to pick up Valencia for the opening goal, and is expected to be replaced by Fabian Schar, who was Switzerland’s top scorer in qualifying (three).
As for France, Deschamps is not expected to tinker with the side that swept Honduras aside in Porto Alegre.
There has been talk in France of Olivier Giroud being drafted into the front three but it would be a major surprise if two-goal hero Karim Benzema is asked to move out to the left-hand side to make room for the Arsenal forward.
Such a tactical tweak would also be harsh on Antoine Griezmann, who did a fine job filling the void left by the injured Franck Ribery.