Here during the match against Jamaica (0-0), July 23, 2023 in Sydney (Australia), striker Vicki Becho (center) could allow Eugénie Le Sommer (right) to breathe during their third World Cup match against Panama. RICK RYCROFT / AP
The topography of Sydney (Australia), embellished with many hills that often have to be climbed and then descended, can cause a slight dizziness, but Hervé Renard, the French coach, is not a follower of roller coasters in terms of performance. of the French team. After a timid start against Jamaica (0-0) and a very encouraging success against Brazil (2-1), he does not imagine his Bleues relapsing, Wednesday August 2, at noon (Paris time), during their third and last game of group F, against Panama. The future opponent of the French is a priori affordable and already eliminated from the competition after its two initial defeats (4-0 against Brazil, 1-0 against Jamaica).
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The course of Les Bleues is thought of as the trajectory of a rocket that would never stop rising, perhaps until the first final in their history in a major competition, on August 20. But, before getting there, it is worth remembering that the Habs have not yet qualified and that the first place in group F they are aiming for risks placing on their way, in the round of 16, the formidable Germany, dominated to everyone’s surprise by Colombia (2-1).
But Hervé Renard is not one of those who try to guess who would be the most opportune opponent for the rest of the tournament. “There are no calculations to be madehe says. We must approach this match by being conquerors. The objective remains the same, to be first. Fate will choose which team we will face, if we qualify of course. » The coach therefore refuses the projections, especially since the outcome of the Germany group will not be known until Thursday, August 3, the day after that of France. In this requirement, he is followed by his protégés, like Kenza Dali, excellent, Saturday, against Brazil: “There is no room for relaxation, everyone is aware of that. »
Minor injuries, fatigue and threats of suspension
The framework being set, this does not prevent the coach, whose role is also that of a manager, from managing his group. He must think of the small injuries of some, the fatigue or the threats of suspension of others, in the event of an accumulation of yellow cards. In midfield, Kenza Dali and Sandie Toletti are affected by this latest situation, as is Sakina Karchaoui in defense. They could be preserved before the knockout phase.
“Yes, there will be some changes for tomorrow’s starting XIexplains Renard, I’ll wait [mercredi] morning to make the final decision. This will depend on the recovery of the players, as the time frame between the second and third game [quatre jours] is very short. » Whatever his choices, he insists, “the collective state of mind will be the same: to seek victory”.
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