Blaise Matuidi impressed against Peru but Corentin Tolisso remains optimistic he can win his place back for Tuesday’s game with Denmark.
Corentin Tolisso says he has learned from the mistakes he made in France’s opening World Cup match against Australia and hopes to get another chance to impress when Les Bleus face Denmark.
The Bayern Munich midfielder started against the Socceroos but was hauled off with 12 minutes to go, just three minutes before France netted the winner via an Aziz Behich own goal.
He was subsequently left out for the 1-0 defeat of Peru with Blaise Matuidi coming in and impressing with an energetic display as Didier Deschamps’ men secured their place in the last 16.
Although he understands why Matuidi got the nod, Tolisso remains optimistic he will win his place back for Les Bleus’ final Group C encounter in Moscow.
He said: “I watched my performance against Australia and I saw [the difference] when Blaise came on so it made sense that he played.
“If it had been the opposite [way round], I would have hoped to play against Peru.
“But nothing is done. I still want to play at this World Cup. If I get the chance I have to show the coach [what I can do], as Blaise did. Everything I did in the build-up I can do again.”
If Deschamps decides to shuffle his midfield again, as is likely, Tolisso will look to play with a greater freedom than he did in their opener in Kazan.
“I must play free, as I did in previous matches in the France team,” he added. “The World Cup is an important tournament and I have to play my football with focus. I have analyzed the game against Australia and I know what not to do again.”
Another man hoping for a chance on Tuesday is Denmark’s, Kasper Dolberg.
The Ajax striker has yet to see a minute of action in Russia but there is a growing feeling among the Danish fans that he should be unleashed on France.
Dolberg, 20, admitted he was frustrated at a lack of playing time but sensibly refused to criticise coach Age Hareide.
“I think you should be disappointed if you do not come on,” he told Danish newspaper Ekstrabladet. “It’s not because I think I deserve it more than [Andreas] Cornelius because it was him who came on [against Australia]. I just have to understand that Age thought that’s what was needed in that match.
“Of course, I would have liked to have been given a chance but we’ll have to see what happens next time.”
A draw at the Luzhniki Stadium will be enough for Denmark, for whom William Kvist is fit, to join France in the knockout stages.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Denmark – Christian Eriksen
A stunning goal aside, Eriksen was well shackled by Australia and will be hoping to show his ability against a strong France midfield. The Tottenham man has netted 17 times in his last 20 appearances for Denmark.
France – Olivier Giroud
The Chelsea striker sat out the defeat to Australia but proved an important focal point of Deschamps’ attack in the win over Peru. Giroud has scored each of France’s last three goals against the Danes, most recently a brace in a 2-1 victory in October 2015.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Denmark and France have met twice in the World Cup, both in the final game of the group stages – France won 2-1 in 1998 and Denmark won 2-0 in 2002.
– Denmark and France are meeting at a sixth major tournament after Euro 1984, Euro 1992, World Cup 1998, Euro 2000 and World Cup 2002. France went on to win three of those five previous tournaments.
– France has won six of their last seven games against Denmark (L1), with the only defeat in that run coming in the 2002 World Cup.
– If Denmark is awarded a penalty in this match, it will be the first time since Group C in 1998 that all four teams have had a penalty in a single World Cup group – that group also contained France and Denmark.
– France has only won all three of their group stage games at a World Cup finals once before, back in 1998 when they went on to win the tournament. Their third win in that edition also came against Denmark.
– France’s Kylian Mbappe could become the first teenager to score in more than one World Cup match since England’s Michael Owen did so in 1998.