France weren’t as dominant as the other group winners in qualifying. They ranked third-from-bottom for the table-topping sides in the European section. Having been run close by Netherlands and Sweden, Les Blues won Group B with 23 points – four more than the aforementioned pair – and only Serbia and Iceland – with 21 and 22 points respectively – ended with fewer points than Didier Deschamps side.
The European nation retained their position in seventh place in the most-recent grading system which logically places them as one of the fancied sides to win the showpiece.
Road to the Trophy
Deschamps charges ended top of Group C with seven points but have found themselves on the, theoretically, tougher side of the draw. They face Argentina in their Round of 16 tie with the winner of that encounter going on to play Uruguay or Portugal. With Brazil and Belgium also in their half of the draw, the Blues definitely won’t be having an easy run if they’re to claim a second global finals’ title.
Having failed to really impress in qualifying, Deschamps side have carried their substandard performances into the competition. In all fairness, most of the top sides haven’t really impressed in the ongoing tournament, but you do feel the French could be doing much better with the array of talent at their disposal. They struggled to beat Australia 2-1 in their group opener, made hard work of Peru in their next game which they won 1-0, before playing out to a goalless draw against Denmark. Nevertheless, it should be noted that Deschamps charges have only lost one game in over a year which is very key and highlights one thing: they may win you over with their charm, but they definitely know how to grind out necessary results.
This was a close run thing given the French possess a prodigious talent in Kylian Mbappe and the efficient Antoine Griezmann, but you do feel Paul Pogba is the one who makes this side tick. When the four-time Serie A winner is on top of his game, Deschamps’ side tend to play better and they’ll definitely need the 2017 Europa League winning midfielder on top of his game in the business end of the competition if they are to claim a second world title.