Reigning World Cup champions France will go up against Poland in the knockout stage on Sunday, Dec. 4 at Al-Thumama Stadium. Both teams lost their last games in the group phase and are seeking to secure a place in the quarterfinals.
France finished in first place in Group D, while Poland managed a second-place finish in Group C. This is the first time in team history that Les Bleus have advanced to three consecutive Group of 16 phases.
France to bring in the stars
The team is expected to make a lot of changes to their lineup, as other members were given playing time in their third group game.
France manager Didier Deschamps brought in the second-stringers for their 1-0 loss to Tunisia, and will be expected to once again field top players Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, and Olivier Giroud, who all got some rest after being kept in reserve for one game.
Defender Theo Hernandez is recovering from a bruised ankle, but the injury is not expected to stop him from playing against Poland. The wing-back is likely to return to action along with Jules Kounde, after they were replaced by Axel Disasi and Eduardo Camavinga in their Tunisian showdown.
France: Heavy favorites
Despite their shocking loss, France is expected to advance to the quarterfinals with little difficulty. They last lost to Poland in 1982, and have prevailed in seven successive matches since, the last time in a 2011 friendly.
Italy 2010 ❌
Spain 2014 ❌
Germany 2018 ❌
France are the first holders since Brazil in 2006 to make it out of their World Cup group 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/yuZRReggcn
— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 26, 2022
France possible starting lineup:
Ousmane DembeleOlivier GiroudAntoine GriezmannTheo HernandezJules KoundeHugo LlorisKylian MbappeAdrian RabiotAurelien TchouameniDayot UpamecanoRaphael Varane