France: Talent everywhere
France have never had a problem churning out massively talented players and teams in the past. They’ve qualified for the World Cup every year since 1998, where they were champions, and finished runners-up in 2006. However, they’re also prone to massive mental and physical breakdowns like in 2002, when they failed to even score a goal in group play, or in 2010, when they earned just a single point, against Uruguay, before exiting early.
This could be France’s most talented roster since their 2006 squad with Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira leading the side. Hugo Lloris captains Les Blues, and is one of the best keepers in the world. Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne are all 24 years old and regularly play for two of the best teams in the world, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
With Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante and either Blaise Matuidi or Adrien Rabiot in the midfield, they should dominate the center of the pitch. Manager Didier Deschamps has an embarrassment of riches when choosing his attacking lineup. Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Anthony Martial, Wissam Ben Yedder and Olivier Giroud can all make a case to start any match in the World Cup, and will terrorize any defense that has the unfortunate task of shutting them down.
France also have a relatively easy group to deal with. They should have no trouble getting past Australia, and while Denmark and Peru will certainly present a challenge, it would be surprising for Deschamps’ team to finish anywhere but top of Group C. That gives France the best route to winning their first World Cup since 1998.