Corinne Diacre names her squad for the Mexico friendly

The France manager has called up a new player forward Clara Mateo who won the U-19 Euros in 2016 and called back midfielder Kenza Dali who had been out of the squad for a long time due to injuries. There is no current U-20 player called up.

2018/19 is a big season for France with the World cup at home in June being the target and many players will hope to make the final 23 players squad, as it is clearly not settled yet for a good number of places.

The Mexico game squad is as follows

GK : Benameur, Bouhaddi, Durand
DF : Debever, Karchaoui, Majri, Mbock, Périsset, Renard, Torrent
MF : Bilbault, Diallo, Diani, Geyoro, Henry, Toletti
FW : Asseyi, D.Cascarino, Dali, Le Sommer, Matéo, Sarr, Thiney

GK  it is quite obvious that Bouhaddi will be there with her experience in the game, Benameur could get the number 1 shirt though, the hierarchy is not decided yet. Durand is the current number three goalie, but Chavas with the U-20 team right now might come into the equation later.

RB Torrent has the shirt and Perisset is her understudy at the moment

LB Majri is the number one choice with Karchaoui her back-up. U-20 players Bacha and Baltimore might offer an alternative later in the season, if one of the two  main players performance level drops.

CB Renard and M’Bock Bathy are certainties to go to the World Cup, except for an injury of course, Debever is in the squad, she was a very late call up at age 29 last season. It will be interesting to see what Tounkara does at Athletico Madrid this season.

CM Henry and Geyoro will make the final squad, Diallo has been a constant choice from Diacre for a while now. Bilbault is a defensive midfielder who will compete for a fringe player place, while Toletti will certainly try to grab an attacking midfielder spot with players like Lavogez and Corboz also vying for a squad place.

Wingers Le Sommer is used there by Diacre rather than in the middle and is more or less the only winger guaranteed to be there in June. Asseyi has been a regular call-up under Diacre mainly in a substitute role. Can she fight the competition of Diani and Cascarino who have both failed so far to show any real consistency overall. Both are skillful but do not show it often enough with France. Dali has just been called back into the squad, it will be interesting to see where she fits in.

Centre forwards newcomer Mateo played fr all the youth national teams with success. Sarr has been a regular as well under Diacre but not consistent so far. Thiney of course, is a very experienced players in a team that does not hold many of them.  U-20 players Katoto and Delabre could be called up in the next squad depending on how they perform with their clubs, especially Katoto who has a huge potential.

There is no doubt that from the 23 players list a good number of those will be in the final world Cup squad. But there will be  a lot of places also up for grabs  now and throughout the season.

With a home World Cup to come, the pressure will be huge for the manager, staff and players to win the trophy and mental strength has not always been a feature in France’s previous tournament alongside the lack of clinical finishing of course.

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England U-20 WWC squad revealed

Mo Marley has named her squad for the the FIFA U-20 WWC that will take place from the 5th to the 24th of August in France. There is no real surprise among the 21 players selected with maybe three or four players who are slightly debatable choices.

The squad is as follows :

Goalkeepers: Sandy MacIver (Clemson University), Emily Ramsey (Manchester United), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City)

Defenders: Megan Finnigan (Everton), Grace Fisk (University of South Carolina), Taylor Hinds (Everton), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Mayumi Pacheco (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Anna Patten (Florida State University)

Midfielders: Georgia Allen (Syracuse University), Zoe Cross (University of Missouri), Ali Johnson* (Bristol), Chloe Peplow (Brighton & Hove Albion), Mollie Rouse (University of Louisville)

Forwards: Rinsola Babajide (Liverpool), Niamh Charles (Liverpool), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Chloe Kelly (Everton), Alessia Russo (University of North Carolina), Georgia Stanway* (Manchester City), Charlie Wellings (Birmingham City).

Although England consider Stanway as a forward, I have always seen her as an attacking midfielder and therefore will put her as midfielder. And Johnson will be considered as a forward as she is a winger, although her new club considers her as a full-back.

To me, Mo Marley has been very logical and consistent and therefore there are 17 players selected who were 100% sure to be there in my opinion.

I actually had 19 players very likely to make it, but two of them did not more many reasons. Ellie Brazil who was not selected at her request and Lotte Wubben-Moy who has just come back from a long term injury and therefore not fit for a World Cup.

So alongside those expected 17 players, there are only four players, where selection is only slightly debatable as there is no real controversy surrounding those four players.

In goal, the choice was made between Sian Rogers and Emily Ramsey. The United goalkeeper got the nod, was it because she has a bigger potential or because Rogers had not fully recovered from her League injuries towards the end of the season. Ramsey is likely to be third choice and will have an important role in helping the number one goalie.

In defense

Esme Morgan who numerically replaces Lotte Wubben-Moy has had first team experience with Manchester City and can play at right-back or centre back.

Some fans mentioned that Samantha Tierney was consistent in term of playing time and performance for Doncaster Belles, but with City playing at a higher level including Champions League, you can see the logic in selecting Morgan. Lucy Parker also had a good season with her University, but that was not enough to be selected.

In midfield

Five players selected all as expected. Consistent and logical choices from Mo Marley.

In attack

There are two small surprises there imo. Alicia Johnson and Rinsola Babajide.

I had wrongly not even registered Johnson on my radar, as I have not seen much of her throughout the season. So I actually had no idea of the level because half an hour on tv does not tell you much if a players has been good or not. The Liverpool regulars will have a better and well informed view on her performances.

The other player who is a half-surprise to me is Rinsola Babajide. She is rightly there because, she has been ever present around the squad for two seasons and there would be no real reason to drop her out of the squad. Except the lack of club playing time from January.

Because there are seven forwards selected, those two players actually add a certain balance to the squad and different profiles from the other five players. Therefore it is only a half surprise to see them selected.

Players in the long list like Rianna Dean, Charlie Devlin and Hannah Cain who were consistent in FA WSL2 could also have got a shout, but it is always a question of having a squad of players who complement each other and are useful during the tournament.

 

England have a good chance of getting  a medal should they get out of the tough group stage. They will first play Korea DPR the holders, who are always a bit of unknown quantity. Then Brazil and will finish the group stage with Mexico.

Then depending on the results in Group A, England could face the hosts France, Ghana, the Netherlands or New-Zealand in the quarter-finals. From the semi-finals on, everything is possible, even winning the title.

England U-20 squad long list published by the FA, who will make it to the finals ?

In a break from their usual  modus operandi of not publishing the long lists for international tournament, the FA has named their 35 players squad for the FIFA U-20 WWC that will take place in August in France.

The long squad is as follows and my 35 players prediction list is actually quite close to it.

Long squad:

Georgia Allen (Syracuse University), Rinsola Babajide (Liverpool), Hannah Cain (Sheffield FC), Niamh Charles (Liverpool), Zoe Cross (University of Missouri), Rianna Dean (Millwall Lionesses), Charlie Devlin (Millwall Lionesses), Megan Finnigan (Everton), Grace Fisk (University of South Carolina), Serena Fletcher (Manchester City), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Taylor Hinds (Everton), Alicia Johnson (Liverpool), Chloe Kelly (Everton), Sandy MacIver (Clemson University), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Jess Ngunga (Arsenal), Mayumi Pacheco (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Aimee Palmer (Bristol City), Anna Patten (Florida State University), Poppy Pattison (Manchester City), Lucy Parker (Louisiana State University), Chloe Peplow (Brighton & Hove Albion), Emily Ramsey (Liverpool), Rebecca Rayner (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Sian Rogers (Aston Villa), Mollie Rouse (University of Louisville), Alessia Russo (University of North Carolina), Connie Scofield (Birmingham City), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Samantha Tierney (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Ella Toone (Manchester City), Charlie Wellings (Birmingham City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (University of North Carolina).

The big omission is Ellie Brazil and Mo Marley has commented about her choice :

“I wanted to acknowledge Ellie Brazil’s contribution over the last year and her non-inclusion.

“In recent weeks we have had discussions about where she is at with her career and agreed together that it would be best for her to focus on her own development during this period.

“Everyone respects this decision and of course Ellie will remain very much part of our plans in future.”

Quite what it means is subject to interpretation but Ellie was a certainty for me to be in the final squad as mentioned in my previous post. It opens the door for a forward to make the final 21 players squad.

Here are the players that I did not have in my original  squad prediction and who could make it to France :

Jess N’Gunga  FW ( Arsenal), Aimee Palmer MF ( Bristol City) , Poppy Pattinson LB ( Manchester City), Rebecca Rayner MF ( Doncaster Belles), Connie Scofield MF ( Birmingham City).

Regarding Jess N’Gunga, there are many players in the queue for the forward place and many of them have had first team experience this season, while she has had very little with two or three games on as a sub.

Aimee Palmer, Rebbeca Rayner  and Connie  Scofield certainly have a chance to make the final 21 if Mo Marley selects six midfielders as I believe the five mains slots are clearly locked. The would have to compete with Charlotte Devlin for the the possible sixth slot who had an excellent season with Millwall.

Poppy Pattinson is your classic left-back and looks to me in the queue behind Mayumi Pacheco and Taylor  Hinds and had certainly a lot less first team experience that the other two players, but would be a logical back-up if one of them end up being injured.

Let’s have an updated final 21 players squad prediction. As per the FIFA rules the 21 players must be selected from the 35 players long-list

GOALKEEPERS – 3 SLOTS

There are four players competing in the squad. Sandy McIver and Ellie Roebuck are definitely going if they are not injured IMO. The final place is between Sian Rogers and Emily Ramsey.

The third goalkeeper place is a special one as that player in general is unlikely to play during the tournament, it requires a player with an excellent mentality to help and prepare the number one goalie.  Either the coaching staff will go for the player with the most first team experience or with the player who can learn from the experience and then bring in the next cycle for the next U20 World Cup in  2020.

DEFENDERS – 6 OR 7  SLOTS

As in my previous post, the following six players should be logically selected, pending injuries of course : Mayumi Pacheco, Grace Fisk, Lotte Wubben-Moy,  Anna Patten, Megan Finnigan Taylor Hinds

Then for the last spot, we have two versatile players who had consistent club season Lucy Parker and Samantha Thierney and a up and coming also versatile player, who could learn from the experience and bring it in the next U20 World Cup Esme Morgan.

Another tough choice to make for Mo Marley and her coaching staff. Obviously we do not know how the players perform at the training camp as it certainly influences the final choice.

MIDFIELDERS – 5 OR 6 SLOTS

To me the five spots are locked : Georgia Stanway, Chloe Peplow, Mollie Rouse, Zoe Cross,  Georgia Allen should all make it. If one of them do not make it, it would defy the logic. England have taken those five players to the tournaments and camp on regular basis and therefore should select them.
But a surprise is possible, if we remember what happened to the senior squad in 2015. Demi Stokes who was ever present during the qualifiers missed out altogether with Alex Greenwood and Claire Rafferty making the squad ahead of her.

For the sixth slot, Charlotte Devlin had a very good season with Millwall and should have a shout. Or depending on what kind of profile Mo Marly wants to take as a sixth midfielder Aimee Palmer, Rebbeca Rayner and Connie Scofield could be there.

But considering Lucy Parker and Samantha Tierney can  play in defense and midfield, I tend to think, it will be five midfielders and seven defenders in the squad with six forwards.

FORWARDS – 6 OR 7 SLOTS

Of course Mo Marley could decide in a 6-5-7 configuration with seven forwards, but having six of them means every position is doubled up, which should be enough.

I think that Chloe Kelly, Alessia Russo, Lauren Hemp  should be on the plane to Brittany . If Mo Marley follows the squad logic from previous call-ups Niamh Charles should make it as well.

Then you have two remaining places Charlie Wellings’ club form would make her a favourite to get one of these seats. And for the last remaining place, it is simply impossible to know who could get it. It should be between Rinsola Babajide and Rianna Dean with the Liverpool forward slightly favourite as she has been ever present in previous despite her lack of playing time in the FA WSL1.

 

Overall I think 18 players are nailed on certainties :  Sandy McIver, Ellie Roebuck, Mayumi Pacheco, Grace Fisk, Lotte Wubben-Moy*,  Anna Patten, Megan Finnigan, Taylor Hinds, Georgia Stanway, Chloe Peplow, Mollie Rouse, Zoe Cross,  Georgia Allen, Chloe Kelly, Alessia Russo, Lauren Hemp, Niamh Charles, Charlie Wellings’

Therefore three places could be available. We will soon now when Mo Marley names her squad for the tournament that is starting in four weeks.

*just back in training, could be short of match fitness and therefore not in the squad.

 

Who could make the England u20 world cup squad in August?

We are two months away from the tournament that will take place in Brittany, France and we are very much in the dark on the final squad. The FA does not release squad lists for the training camps, so it is total guesswork on who will make it and who won’t.

As the FA has to give a pre-list of 35 players and chose 21 players for the final squad, I have therefore put a 38 players list and added checked their numbers for the 2017/18 season. To build that list, I have taken into account the only squads list that were openly available for this U20 cycle : Euro U19, Florida U20 tournament, La Manga U23 tournament.

As in every World Cup squad list, there is often a last-minute passenger who jumps on the plane. This year there should be at least one courtesy of the England U19 failure to qualify for the finals in Switzerland. It means some of the U19 players who were not involved with the U20 can now compete for a place in the squad. Therefore Lauren Hemp should jump the queue and make the final 21 on the strength of her club season.

In term of squad format, I would expect Mo Marley to select 3 goalkeepers, 7 defenders, 5 midfielders and 6 forwards. It could also be a 3/6/6/6 or a 3/6/5/7 squad format as well. The final squad places are often taken by players who can play in more than one position.

It is important to note that the final squads do not always have all the best players available. Sometimes some players are not selected because they cannot fit within a squad for a full month competitions for multiple reasons. Managers will be reluctant to take a potentially disruptive top-level player. There are plenty of examples in men and women football of World Cup teams that failed to win because of internal problems.

Methodology

I have split the players chances to make it in three categories : those who are likely to make it barring any injuries, those who are competing for a spot with other players and the dark horses who are unlikely to get selected but could be a surprise choice.

Note that some players might have short or medium term injuries and miss out on the squad. But because of the secrecy surrounding selection, someone who is a mainstay of the team might already be out of the reckoning, but the information is not available to us. And because of this a player missing out might alter the balance of the squad and it could become a different configuration.

Goalkeepers – 3 slots

Sandy McIver and Ellie Roebuck have been called up on regular basis to the three tournaments. Both had significant game time especially Roebuck with Manchester City who had a long streak between the post before losing her place towards the end of the season.

For the third place, the logical choice would be Sian Rogers of Aston Villa who has travelled for many squads as third choice. The only question mark is her injury status as she was injured in the League against London Bees and subsequently missed the remaining League games.

Another candidate could be Fran Kitching who has had a superb season with Watford Ladies and would deserve to compete for a starting place on current form. The big question is if she is on the FA radar or not and we have no idea about it.

A fifth option could Birmingham City’s Hannah Hampton who was highly rated at U17 level and played six times for the first team this season. She would make a good third keeper learning during the tournament and then could use her experience in the next cycle, leading to the 2020 U20 World Cup.

The England U19 goalkeepers used up to the Elite Round are also potential players with Emily Ramsey of Liverpool who has had a game in the first team this season and Katie Startup of Charlton who has just won promotion to the newly named Championship. Both could also be in the long list and candidates for the third goalkeeper spot.

Defenders – 6 or 7 slots

To me there are five defenders who have been consistently called for the tournaments squads and therefore will definitely be in the final 21 if they are not injured.

They are left-back Mayumi Pacheco from Doncaster Belles, and center-backs, Grace Fisk from South Carolina, Lotte Wubben-Moy from UNC ( if she is fit to play as she has been unlucky with injuries for long periods this season), Anna Patten who can also play at right-back from FSU and Megan Finnigan from Everton. Those five players have had regular game time with their club and universities and therefore tick all the boxes.

Then there are four possible choices who could get in the squad for the sixth and potentially seventh place. Everton left’s back Taylor Hinds who is the natural back-up for Pacheco. She left Arsenal during the January window in order to gain playing time. She has played 11 games during the season. She can also play as a left winger.

Another serious candidate is Samantha Tierney from Doncaster Belles who has not been called up for any of the three tournament but can boast 21 appearances with the FA WSL2 side. Will it be enough for a place in the final squad? She plays her club football in midfield rather than in defense.

Then we have Lucy Parker from LSU who had a good season in midfield in the NCAA and was recently called back for the Florida and La Manga tournament after missing out on the Euros. Her versatility could be an asset for the team.

And finally Esme Morgan from Manchester City. The young defender managed to get 10 games as an 18 years old with the Champions League semi-finalist and can play at center-back or at right-back. These are really good numbers in a team packed with international players like Manchester City.

The dark horse in defense would be Serena Fletcher from Manchester City who was recently called up for the La Manga U23 tournament but has not played any minute for City’s first team, so has clearly less experience than the other defenders.

Midfielders – 5 or 6 slots

I anticipate five midfielders being picked and the five spots are very much settled. With five midfielders selected, it would allow Mo Marley to pick an extra forward or an extra defender if needed to balance the squad. Those five midfielders have been constantly called up for tournaments and have regular playing time with their club or university and have earned the manager’s trust.

The players are Manchester City’s playmaker Georgia Stanway and four central midfielders Chloe Peplow from Brighton, Mollie Rouse from Louisville University, Zoe Cross from Missouri and Georgia Allen from Syracuse.

If ever, Mo Marley decides to select a sixth player in midfield, which is something I don’t expect to happen because certain defenders can actually play in the defensive midfield position and have done it with their club/ university ( Parker, Finnigan, Wubben-Moy, Patten). I believe there are three players who could come in :

Two attacking midfielders from Millwall : Charlie Devlin, who is a winger/ playmaker. She has collected 23 appearances and nine goals this season and was called up for one of the non-tournament camp earlier this season as seen in her social media. She is creative and can beat defenders and could be an excellent supersub. The other midfielder at Millwall is a playmaker/second striker Ella Rutherford. She has made 15 appearances and has five goals to her name at only 18 years old.

The other midfielder that could be surprise call up is Isabella Sibley who made the Euro U19 squad in Northern Ireland. But like Serena Fletcher in defense, she is a player with no first team game time this season, so it would be a good surprise to see her make the final 21.

Forwards – 6 or 7 slots

Forward is the position where is the most competition and density. I make it 12 players competing for six or seven available spots. It is actually hard to define a hierarchy between the players because they are so close it term of quality. Final selection for the forwards will be probably decided in the last camp in July.

So it term of players that should definitely making the trip to France, there are four regulars, that have been called to all the camps and tournament except when they have been injured.

Chloe Kelly the striker from Everton, who has been ever-present for her club and scored eight goals this season.

Alessia Russo the pacy striker from UNC, who has had a very solid season with her university scoring nine goals as a Freshman.

Ellie Brazil, the tall, powerful and complete forward from Fiorentina, who has not had as many games as other players due to injury and competition for places, but has a huge potential. If players were exclusively judged on the number of appearances, she would be one of those players who would have to fight for one of the final seats.

The same apply for Niamh Charles, the Liverpool winger who has been called up in every tournament and can play on both wings, like Brazil she has not played as many games as some other players. But I still think she should make it on the plane to France.

Then there is a player who looked to me like a dark horse until April, as she was involved with the U19 team that did not qualify for the Euro finals. Lauren Hemp should definitely go to France. The 18 years old has played 23 games for Bristol and scored nine goals in the process. Her sensational form should make her a certainty to be in the squad.

So with five players more or less guaranteed a sport, there are only one or two places available

Charlie Wellings the Birmingham striker has the most first team appearances of all the forward candidates with 24 and six goals. She should be in on the strength of her club form and consistency. Would she get in ahead of one of the four player who have been ever-present in the current two years cycle?

Rianna Dean the Millwall striker got 23 games and ten goals in the FA WSL2. She missed out on a Euro place last season due to no first team game time unlike other players who went to the tournament. She has had a good consistent season in the second tier. Will it be enough though?

Alicia Johnson another Liverpool winger has been called up for the last two tournament in Florida and La Manga. She has therefore an outside chance to make it. She has made 17 appearances, a third of them as a starter and three goals for the Reds.

Rinsola Babajide another Liverpool winger would have been until January in my certainty list as she has taken part in the whole campaign and tournaments. But her transfer window move from Watford to Liverpool has been a disaster in term of game time.

She might have found the commuting from London and the gap between FA WSL2 and FA WSL1 more difficult to bridge than expected. It looks to me that she has gone behind others in the striker hierarchy.

The density of option opened to Mo Marley is so good that the numerous dark horses have a little chance to make it. Kess Elmore* from U-Conn was on the Florida trip and could be in the long list as well as Hannah Cain from Sheffield Ladies, the young forward has played 14 times in the second tier and scored five goals. Ella Toone from Manchester City who has played six games and had one start could also be in the race for a place.

A young striker with an excellent record for her first season in the FA WSL is Bridget Galloway from Sunderland. 17 appearances with 14 starts and six goals is a very decent statistic. She should be taken into consideration and could sneak in.

So here are the players I am expecting to be in final 21 players for the U20 World Cup played in August :

GK 2 McIver, Roebuck

DF 6 Finnigan, Fisk, Pacheco, Patten, Wubben-Moy, Hinds

MF 5 Allen, Cross, Peplow, Rouse, Stanway

FW 6 Brazil, Charles, Hemp, Kelly, Russo, Wellings

There will be obviously a third goalie to be chosen and it leaves only one place available. It could be one defender or one forward. In the end, England will have a very strong team that should be looking to win a medal at the tournament.

*has suffered an ACL injury and is not available

Ticketing for the FIFA U-20 World Cup now open

The first ticketing phase for the FIFA U-20 WWC in France has now opened with a pre-sale for VISA card holders.

For the England fans who want to watch the group stage games and then the knock-out stage here are the single ticket prices :

single tix.JPG

Group Stage ( group B)

Koread DPR v England Sun 05 Aug  in Dinan-Lehon  16 and 20€ ( seated)

Brazil v England  Wed 08 Aug in Dinan-Lehon  16 and 20€ ( seated)

England v Mexico* Sun 12 Aug in Saint-Malo  10€  ( standing ) and 20€  ( seated)

 

*All games are double headers and this ticket includes Netherlands v France where the home fans might buy a lot of tickets, that is the FFF aim obviously.

 

Knock-out stage

 

Quarter-finals

1A v 2B  Thu 16 Aug in Concarneau  16€  ( standing) and 26€ ( seated)

1B v 2A Fri 17 Aug in Vannes 14, 20 and 26€ ( seated)

 

Semi-finals

Mon 20 Aug in Vannes 18, 24, 28 €  (seated)

 

3rd place play-off and final

Fri 24 Aug in Vannes  20, 26, 30 € ( seated)

 

There are also city related packages for the fans who want to see all the games at a specific location.

 

 

anglais

 

Here is a reminder of the full schedule :

schedule

The link to buy the tickets is here :

Fans have to register to the website as usual before buying the tickets. Most tickets have to  to be collected at the venues before the games except in Vannes, where e-tickets are available.

Short guide for England fans for the U-20 World Cup in Brittany

Here is a short guide for the England fans who intend to attend the U-20 WWC in Brittany next Summer.

FIFA and the FFF LOC have decided to organise the U-20 tournament in one specific region Brittany rather than spread it all over France which makes it much easier to travel around and more cost effective.

There are four cities involved in the tournament : Saint-Malo, Dinan-Lehon, Vannes and Concarneau, here is the map including the distance between the different cities.

Ville matchs

England U-20 road to the final

Group Stage ( Group B)

PRK v England Sun 05/08 16.30 CET Dinan-Lehon

Brazil v England Wed 08/08 13.30 CET Dinan-Lehon

England v Mexico Sun 12/08 13.30 CET Saint-Malo*

*note double header with France game stadium capacity is around 2 000, might get close to full capacity as it is a Sunday afternoon

Location advice : stay around the Saint-Malo/Dinard area for limited travel as Dinan is 33 km away from St-Malo. This is in the Northern area of Brittany

Knock-out stage

QF 1A v 2B Thu 16/08 19.30 CET Concarneau or

QF 1B v 2A Fri 17/08 16.00 CET Vannes

SF both played in Vannes Monday 20/08 16.00 CET and 19.30 CET

3rd place play-off and Final both played in Vannes Fri 24/08 16.00 CET and 19.30 CET

Location advice : move towards the South West of Britany around Vannes. Concarneau to Vannes is 103 km.

Concarneau has only local buses to Quimper no train going there directly.

The full schedule is as follows

schedule

Airports (all served by low-cost companies)

Dinard ( DNR) very close to Dinan-Lehon and Saint-Malo

Rennes (RNS) central Brittany

Nantes ( NTE) south Brittany

Trains website is https://www.oui.sncf/

TGV high speed trains from Paris will go to Saint-Malo / Rennes / Nantes

TER local regional trains

Ferries from England

Portsmouth to Saint-Malo

Plymouth to Saint-Malo

Ticketing info from the FIFA website

The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 matches will provide tickets per session. Indeed, two matches will be played per session (on a selected day). Henceforth your tickets will be valid for the entire session, valid for both matches.

Ticket Sales Phases

Visa, the preferred payment method of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018, is pleased to offer Visa cardholders exclusive access to purchase FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup match tickets from Wednesday 11 April until Tuesday 24 April, before tickets go on sale to the general public on Thursday 25 April 2018.

Visa Pre-Sale

Tickets to the tournament will be available exclusively to Visa cardholders from Wednesday 11 April until Tuesday 24 April. Visa cardholders will be able to purchase tickets through https://tickets.fu20wwc18.fr/uk (*). Visa will be the only payment method accepted during the pre-sale period.

General Public

Tickets available to all members of the public from Thursday 25 April. Fans can purchase tickets online via https://tickets.fu20wwc18.fr/uk (*). Visa is the preferred method of payment for FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup tickets.

England U-20 to play a warm-up tournament in France next June ?

The England women U-20 team have been invited to play a friendly tournament during the FIFA window in June in preparation for the U-20 World Cup that will be played later in France.

 

The FIFA U-20 World Cup will take place from the 5th to the 24th of August in Brittany, France. There are four cities selected (Vannes, Concarneau, Saint-Malo, Dinan/Lehon).  With the opening match, semi-finals and final to be played in Vannes.

 

calendrier

 

 

The  U-20 World Cup draw will take place on the 8th of March in Rennes and the following teams will take part in the competition:

Hosts 1: France
UEFA 4: Germany, Netherlands, Spain, England
AFC: Korea DPR, Japan, China
CONCACAF: 3*
CONMEBOL: 2**
CAF: 2***
OFC: 1 New Zealand

*three teams from the USA, Canada, Mexico and Haiti

** two teams from Paraguay, Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia

*** Nigeria or South Africa, Cameroon or Ghana

 

England, Germany, France and a team to be named later are invited to take part in the warm-up tournament to be played in Southern France from the 4th to the 11th of June. It will be one of the last chance to test the players in a tournament format with three games in eight days.

update :  England will not take part in that tournament, USA, Haiti, Germany and France will be playing in that tournament

 

Corinne Diacre names her first France squad

Corinne Diacre has named her first squad for France’s friendlies against Chile and Spain. As World Cup host, France will have two years to prepare for the tournament by playing friendlies only.

As expected some veterans have been left out as the coach is looking towards the future. The golden generation that failed to win a medal in the last eight years is now making way for the new players, who will hopefully bring success to the team after winning multiple trophies with the youth teams.  Two players have announced their international retirement: Camille Abily straight after the Euros and Elodie Thomis who made the announcement last night on her Instagram.

Let’s have a look at the squad line by line and the main changes from the Euros.

GK: Sarah Bouhaddi, Meline Gerard, Solene Durand.

Gerard has now moved on to Montpellier from Lyon and should therefore compete for the starting spot with Sarah Bouhaddi. As a knock-on effect of this move, Laetitia Phillipe who used to be France number 3 keeper and starter at Montpellier is not selected  any more. Her former deputy at Montpellier Solene Durand who has moved to Guingamp in the summer is now on the list.

DF: Hawa Cissokho, Laura Georges, Thea Greboval, Sakina Karchaoui, Charlotte Lorgere, Griedge M’Bock Bathy, Wendie Renard, Marion Torrent.

From the Euro squad, Eve Perisset, Aissatou Tounkara and Jessica Houara-D’Hommeau are left out.  Perisset is dropped while the other two are injured. Three new capped players come in for them: Hawa Cissokho, Thea Greboval and Charlotte Lorgere. Hawa Cissokho and Thea Greboval won the U19 Euros last season and were runner-up at the U20 World Cup. Charlotte Lorgere has gone through the youth teams with 39 caps at U16 to U20 level and ten for the B team.  Veteran Laura Georges is still in the squad, while Marion Torrent might finally get a chance to prove herself at right-back.

MF: Elise Bussaglia, Camille Catala, Grace Geyoro, Amandine Henry, Ines Jaurena, Sandie Toletti.

Camille Abily has retired from international duty and Claire Lavogez who is currently injured are the two Euros midfielders missing out. Camille Catala is selected as midfielder, as she was under Bruno Bini, when Corinne Diacre was his assistant, rather than the back-up of the back-up at centre forward like at the Euros. Veteran Elise Bussagglia is kept in the squad probably to provide guidance and experience. Ines Jaurena returns after a long absence from the team.

FW : Viviane Asseyi, Kadidiatou Diani, Valerie Gauvin, Eugenie Le Sommer, Perle Morroni, Ouleymata Sarr.

Clarisse Le Bihan, Gaetane Thiney and Marie-Laure Delie are dropped, Elodie Thomis has retired. Those four players were at the Euros in Netherlands and are replaced by youngsters Perle Morroni and Ouleymata Sarr (who has scored a hat-trick in the season opener with LOSC) and also players who have already been called in the past, but were not regulars in the squad, like Viviane Asseyi and Valerie Gauvin. Kadidiatou Diani and Eugenie Le Sommer are the only forward to stay in the squad following another tournament where scoring was again a problem.

Amel Majri who missed out on the Euros is still not fit and therefore not selected, as is Delphine Cascarino who is coming back from a long term injury.

France will play Chile in Caen on Friday the 15th of September with a 9pm CET kick off and Spain on the 18th of September in Calais with 9pm CET kick-off as well.  We might see a lot of new players being capped in one of those friendlies and we will see what kind of tactical options Corinne Diacre will select. We can probably expect a less defence and physical strength orientated team. It should be more creative  than under Phillipe Bergeroo and Olivier Echouafni.

 

What we know so far about the 2018 U20 World Cup in Britany

From the 7th to the 26th of August 2018, France will be the host of the U20 World Cup and it will take place in the Brittany area. Here is what we already know.

 

Format

Born in 2002, the U20 World Cup (U19 in 2002) has 16 teams distributed over four groups with the top two teams from each group going through to the quarter-finals. For the 2018 France have automatically qualified as hosts.  The allocation per confederation is as follows:

Hosts 1: France
UEFA 4: Germany, Netherlands, Spain, England
AFC: 3
CONCACAF: 3
CONMEBOL: 2
CAF: 2
OFC: 1 New Zealand

 

Accommodation

The French bid had originally offered an unusual set-up with the University campus Beaulieu in Rennes as the accommodation for the 16 teams. The concept was reprising the same spirit as the Olympic villages. This unusual set-up has not been validated by FIFA, who has decided to keep the usual hotel set-up for the delegations.

 

Stadiums

Many grounds have been proposed to host the 32 games to be played during the tournament over 20 days. Following stadium visits and taking into account the calendar constraints, three grounds have already been selected.

Stade Guy Piriou at Concarneau, Stade Marville in St-Malo and Stade de la Rabine in Vannes. Among the other candidates St-Brieuc, has not been selected as they did not do the required work improvement.  A fourth ground will be selected between Vitré and Léhon.

The FIFA LOC has visited the premises two months in order to see what development needed to be done for the tournament. The idea behind the Brittany bid is the whole departments in the region host games but also have training grounds for the teams.

For the remaining grounds waiting to be selected, they are both expected to improve the lighting and the stands in order to fulfil the applicable standard. Those points must be validated by the city halls. The final city should be known in the near future.

The original post in French can be found here

 

Travel mileage to grounds

If fans/parents wants to be based around Rennes (capital of Brittany) during the tournament, here is the distance from the different grounds:

Rennes – Concarneau 202 km / 125 miles

Rennes – Vannes 116 km / 72 miles

Rennes – St Malo 70 km / 43 miles

Rennes – Vitre 38 km / 24 miles

Rennes – Lehon 54 km / 34 miles

 

TGV train from Paris to Rennes takes around 1h30

 

If they want to be based around Nantes (the historical capital of Brittany and a well know tourist area)

 

Nantes – Concarneau 216 km / 134 miles

Nantes – Vannes 114 km / 71 miles

Nantes – St Malo 179 km / 108 miles

Nantes – Vitre 139 km / 87 miles

Nantes – Lehon 163 km / 101 miles

 

TGV train from Paris to Nantes takes around 2h00

 

France 1 Iceland 0, 3 points and many questions but few answers

A 1-0 victory with a late penalty from Le Sommer means France start the Euros with a precious win, but will have to go back to the drawing board before the Austria game.

France started in a 4-2-3-1 system with Le Sommer as the lone striker, Thomis on the right side and Le Bihan on the left side. Abily was the playmaker with Bussaglia and Henry behind her.  Houara, Georges preferred to M’Bock bathy, Renard and Karchaoui. Bouhaddi was in goal as usual.

The first point to mention is how much influence the referee has on the game. She was quite lenient forgetting to whistle penalties, yellow cards, a red card and was inconsistent as well with her bookings.

She let so many things go unpunished on both side, that it was no surprise to see a French player being subbed after being injured with a twisted ankle. Talking about not controlling a game and favoring physical play rather than football, it was another typical example of those kind of games.

It is quite clear that with a different referee, who would have been stricter and fully applying the LOTG, the game would have been played differently. I note that the VAR would also have changed the game, fouls in the penalty area ignored by the referee with fouls on both side that could have been  seen and punished.

It is funny to note that Henry to win the decisive penalty had to clearly show the referee that she was being held to get the foul, otherwise it would not have been given, as it happened in the first half of the game.

External factor aside, it was certainly not a great performance from France, way too many technical mistakes on the final ball and passes. Against a team playing physically and pushing you in virtual and real sense, you can either raise your physical level to start a trench battle but it  would means no football being played. And with a random decision making referee, it can quickly lead to being red carded without warning.

Or you can try to play better football, go round the opposition defense and that was the logical option. So France kept trying to breach the Icelandic defense without much success, because the technical link between players was not there.

Some players under performed, others clearly lacked match sharpness, the speed of play and passing precision was missing in the final third for Les Bleues against a tight defensive block. It is not easy at all to go through or around such a good defense, but having Le Sommer as a lone striker was not great.

In the end France finished the game with four attacking players Diani, Delie, Thiney, le Sommer plus Abily and Henry in midfield and having numbers up front certainly helped.  .

Credit to the players for battling until the end of a poor game in term of team performance. Some individuals shone throughout the game, but many players were just average or below average and will need to raise their level against Austria.

At the end of the day, Iceland had a clear gameplan to disrupt the French attacking game and it worked well, while France had a gameplan and did not apply it to the best of their technical ability.

Attacking football in the end prevailed, but it was very close to another failure and 1-0 defeat as we have seen many through the years for France. There will be work to do in training to try to solve the problems as the next game against Ausria is likely to follow the same scenario.