Considering the many teams, cultures and styles of play that every nation will encounter at the World Cup, it is always good for a coach to have plenty of options at his disposal. France coach, Didier Deschamps, has exactly that and he utilized some of them as France beat Switzerland 5-2 in Salvador.
In the first group game against Honduras, Deschamps played a 4-3-3 with Antoine Griezmann and Mathieu Valbuena playing either side of Karim Benzema in attack. Les Bleus won the game comfortably and the team looked disciplined on defense, and dangerous on offense.
It looked as though that lineup would be the way forward for Deschamps in the tournament, but against Switzerland he decided to play Olivier Giroud as the striker, and played Benzema and Valbuena either side of him instead. This time, against a better defensive team, France blew them away and scored five goals to comfortably win their second game.
The midfield was also altered as Paul Pogba was on the bench after playing the first game, and Moussa Sissoko played instead in the center of midfield. Sissoko scored a goal and performed well in cohesion with Pogba’s usual midfield partners, Blaise Matuidi and Yohan Cabaye.
Deschamps can really mix and match those midfielders anyway he likes in his midfield, depending on the opposition the team plays against. Towards the end of the game, Deschamps even had the versatility in his side to convert to a 4-1-4-1 as France eventually closed the game out at 5-2.
France still had players like Loic Remy and Remy Cabella on the bench, who are yet to be involved, but both can still offer a different dimension to the France attack. Deschamps has a squad of versatile players overall who can play many positions, and in turn, give him many options to select his team.
It gives France an element of unpredictability. You can never really be sure how Deschamps will set-up his team, or with which personnel he will do it. The only thing the opposition will know for sure is that there will be 11 players, that they will all be very talented, and that no matter who is in the starting XI, they will make for tough opposition whoever they play against.