It was a rocky road at the play-offs for France but the team eventually made it to the World Cup finals and will be looking to exorcise those 2010 demons when Raymond Domenech’s squad fell apart.
Manager Didier Deschamps might be regretting his decision to drop Manchester City player Samir Nasri, after Franck Ribery officially announced that he will not be participating at the competition after succumbing to a lower-back injury. His absence will create plenty of problems in the team’s attack and now the French boss will be relying greatly on the likes of Paul Pogba, Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Valbuena.
Honduras lost two out of their last three warm-up matches to Turkey and Israel but did manage to snatch an impressive draw against England. Manager Luis Fernando Suarez will be missing the services of Rangers midfielder Arnold Peralta who was ruled out due to a thigh injury. The former Ecuador boss will be expected to line up the team with a 4-4-2 formation with strikers Carlo Costly and Jerry Bengtson expected to do better than in the qualifiers.
KICK-OFF: Sunday, 8pm
The teams have never faced each other before.
FRANCE: Group E team profile
FRANCE: Group E team profile
1/5 How they qualified
France were drawn in the same group as World and European champions Spain, and with the addition of Belarus, Georgia and Finland it was obvious that it would be a battle between those two mega powers. France were pretty stellar in their results but fell short against La Furia Roja at home which cost them first place. Les Bleus faced Ukraine at the play offs who almost provided an upset as they beat the 1998 World Cup winners 2-0 at Kiev. However, a loud Stade de France and a determined Tricolores side managed to overturn the aggregate and won 3-0 thanks to two goals by Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho.
Didier Deschamps is no stranger to success with the French team as he captained them to a World Cup home win in 1998 and a Euro triumph two years later. It is obvious that he is not afraid to take risks, as proven by his dismissal of Manchester City’s Samir Nasri. With a Ligue 1 title and a Champions League final under his belt, the 45-year-old could indeed be looking for another World Cup moment.
3/5 Star Player
In the absence of Franck Ribery, striker Karim Benzema will have to step up and take the burdon of France's attack if they are to have an impact in Brazil. The 25-year-old will arrive as a Champions League winner following Real Madrid's success this season, and he will need to prove that he can do it without the services of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to really cement his place among the world's best.
4/5 Emerging Talent
Paul Pogba is a powerful midfielder that had a breakthrough season inb the Serie A for Juventus where he amassed 36 caps, scored seven goals and produced an equal number of assists. The 21-year-old’s excellent performance has not gone undetected, as Chelsea are eyeing him as David Luiz’s replacement.
5/5 How they will line up: (4-4-2)
Lloris; Debuchy, Koscielny, Varane, Evra; Cabaye, Matuidi, Pogba, Valbuena; Greizmann, Benzema.
This is the second straight appearance at the World Cup for Honduras and the third in total as La H made its debut in 1982.
Dider Deschamps’s last World Cup match as a player for France was in the 1998 final when Les Tricolores won the title at home. His last official match was in the Euro 2000 final where the team won that trophy as well.
France only lost one match in the qualifiers to World Cup holders Spain whereas Honduras amassed three losses where they only scored 13 goals in 10 matches and conceded 12.
Honduras have never won a World Cup match and have never made it through the group stage.
France to win: 1.3
Honduras to win: 12.1
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