Two days after the defeat against Denmark (1-2) at the Stade de France, no time to feel sorry for himself. The France team landed on Sunday, June 5, in Split, to face Croatia there on Monday on the occasion of the second day of the League of Nations. On the eve of this already important meeting for the outcome of the group stage, Didier Deschamps, who returned to his players after a four-day mourning, appeared at a press conference.
Before the coach, it was not Hugo Lloris, but Presnel Kimpembe who answered questions from journalists in the narrow auditorium of Stade Poljud. The captain and goalkeeper of the Blues will not start tomorrow evening. He will be replaced by Mike Maignan. In his absence, it is therefore the Paris Saint-Germain defender who will wear the captain’s armband. A first for him with the Blues, on the occasion of his 27th selection.
“He will be captain“, announced Didier Deschamps, who made it short to explain the passage of the armband to Kimpembe. The coach, on the other hand, insisted on the period “complicated for all players“, arrived with “fatigue and wear” during this rally. There are many changes to be expected for Monday’s game, compared to the starting XI against Denmark on Friday.
— French team ⭐⭐ (@equipedefrance) June 5, 2022
Among the absent players, Kylian Mbappé. Hit in the knee and released at half-time against the Danes, the Paris Saint-Germain striker did not train on Sunday. “I will wait until tomorrow to take stock with the medical staff” in order to know if Mbappé will be able to play again during this rally, explained Deschamps.
They were finally nineteen Blues, out of the 24 in the group – after Raphaël Varane’s package – present in the moist Croatian heat close to a storm, on the lawn of the Poljud stadium which borders the Adriatic Sea. Besides Mbappé, four other players have therefore not trained: Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kanté, Kingsley Coman and Jules Koundé. Benzema contented himself with a short jog around the lawn. Their presence for Monday’s game is therefore compromised.
19 Blues in training at the Poljud stadium in Split, on the eve of the match against Croatia. Footing for Benzema who will not participate in the collective session, like Coman, Koundé, Mbappé and Kanté. #CROFRA pic.twitter.com/WNV0sswkmd
— Denis Menetrier (@DMenetrier) June 5, 2022
During the fifteen minutes open to the media, the players of the France team were content to get into physical condition, before the traditional confrontation behind closed doors, during which the Blues certainly worked on managing depth, which caused two goals against Denmark.
“At times, we are less solid defensively“, confirmed Deschamps, who assured that the objective of the French team is “to bounce back“. After their defeat against Denmark, the Blues are already condemned to good results in the next three games against Croatia and Austria.