International football

England v France. Cyprus Cup group A preview

Next Sunday will be a heavyweight contest with a place in the final to be won. France is leading group A thanks to a better goal difference which means England has to win to reach the final.

It will be interesting to see England’s appreoach to the game ie go for the win early or wait a bit to see how the situation evolves.

I don’t expect to see England go with all guns blazing because I only saw it happen once against the USA. I haven’t attended as many England games as my friends but I would say  20+ and that one really was the only game when Hope Powell sent an all attacking team.

We know that France has a plan A and no real plan B ie Bruno Bini’s team will try to pass and move around the opposition’s defence and probably fail at converting chances. A problem that has been hampering the team’s chances of winning a tournament at Euro 2009 and World Cup 2011.

In term of line-up it is a bit difficult to predict the English one for 2 reasons: The first one is Hope Powell has used squad rotation a lot for the first two games, the second one is uncertainty on injuries. For France 2 players who were slightly injured came in the second half against Finland and it seems Captain Soubeyrand is the only doubtful player.

So the teams could line-up like this :

France  Bouhaddi, Franco Georges Meilleroux Bompastor, Bussaglia Abily, Le Sommer Necib Thiney, Delie
England Bardsley, Scott Houghton Stoney Unitt, Williams Scott Smith, Clarke White Carney

I expect a huge battle in the midfield area with around 18 players concentrated in a tight 80 x50m area. Both side will try to win that battle with their traditional asset physical engagement fitness and power for England, ball control and technical  know- how for France.

There will be some interesting battles on the wings : Franco / Le Sommer against Carney / Unitt and Bompastor / Thiney against Scott/Clarke although England wingers swap positions regularly.

Expect Thomis to come in the second half and run at Unitt the way she did in the world cup.

So what I can foresee is France with the main ball possession and England extremely dangerous on the break with the front 4 pace. Both side will create chances and the most clinical team will win.

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2 thoughts on “England v France. Cyprus Cup group A preview

  1. pat h says:

    Do you reckon France will need to step their game up a bit from the rather laboured performance against Finland ?

    If the keeper goes walkabout like in the Finland game, England might well take advantage.

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  2. Froggie says:

    From the post-match interviews, the lack of creativity and off the ball movement was linked to tiredness. So with an extra day’s rest, the attacking side fo the game should improve. Regarding Bouhaddi’s special running plays well…

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