'Giroud central and Griezmann on the wing' - France urged by Guivarc'h to take fresh approach

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The 1998 World Cup winner wants to see Les Bleus operate with a central frontman, with the likes of Kylian Mbappe pushed into wider roles

France need to be starting with Olivier Giroud as a central striker, says Stephane Guivarc’h, with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe moved into wider posts.

Les Bleus did start with a 4-3-3 formation in their World Cup opener against Australia, and were able to secure a 2-1 win.

Didier Deschamps’ side struggled, however, to produce the free-flowing football which has them sat among the favourites to go all the way in Russia.

Guivarc’h, who tasted World Cup glory on home soil in 1998, believes a tactical tweak is now required to bring the best out of an exciting squad.

He wants to see Chelsea frontman Giroud come into the starting XI, with Ousmane Dembele dropping out as Griezmann and Mbappe provide attacking support from the flanks.

The former Newcastle and Auxerre forward told Goal on the impact Giroud can make for France: “His entry against Australia made the second goal possible. I think that without him we would have failed to break down the opposing defence.

“He is a focal point. He knows how to make himself available. He can allow his team to move up the field quickly and help the midfielders to win time and space.

“There are often two opposing defenders on his back and the others can take advantage of that situation.

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“Even if they know how to finish the moves, I think that others like Griezmann or Mbappe must play as wingers so that the attack is more coherent.”

France are back in action on Thursday when they take on Peru.

They sit top of Group C at present, but did require VAR assistance and an own goal to get past Australia and will be aware that more is expected of them in their second outing, regardless of who Deschamps calls upon.

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