It is a defining moment before each major competition: in front of their small screen, football lovers hold their breath, at the same time as the candidates for the French team, eager to defend the precious golden star acquired in Russia in 2018.
Long kept secret, the list of 23 to 26 lucky winners will be made public around 8:20 p.m. by the coach on the TF1 Journal set. The boss of the world champions will detail his choices and thoughts then at a press conference at the headquarters of the broadcaster, in Boulogne-Billancourt.
There are those certain to be there, such as captain Hugo Lloris, the irremovable Antoine Griezmann or the offensive prodigy Kylian Mbappé, faithful representatives of the sacred generation four years ago, or even Karim Benzema, fresh from Ballon d’ Gold.
Others feel more pressure approaching the list because the competition, their physical condition and/or the coach’s tactical choices leave them in uncertainty.
– Cohabitation Giroud/Benzema? –
In the puzzle concocted by Deschamps, will the Giroud piece have its place?
The second top scorer in the history of the Blues has done everything to invite himself to Doha, both with AC Milan and in the selection, where he has been recalled for a year each time Benzema is forfeited.
Since the Euro, the coach refuses to summon the two attackers at the same time, judging “difficult” for Giroud to accept, with his service record in the blue jersey, a role of lining without cringe.
But the two men recently discussed the subject and that pleads in favor of the 36-year-old centre-forward, as much as the physical concerns which are currently undermining Benzema, who still forfeited Monday with Real Madrid.
For his list, Deschamps has not only one medical file to examine, but two, three or even four, as the injuries have accumulated in recent weeks.
The technician, already orphaned by midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, feared the worst when he saw his vice-captain Raphaël Varane, pillar of the tricolor defense, come out in tears on October 22 after a worrying injury in the club.
However, optimism is now in order concerning the central defender, his recovery time seeming compatible with the entry into the running of the Blues on November 22 against Australia.
– Official list Monday –
The situation could seem more delicate for Mike Maignan, goalkeeper N.2 injured in a calf, and for Presnel Kimpembe, suffering from an Achilles tendon, because Deschamps set a clear limit: “I will not take a player who does not is not able to play the start of the competition,” he told AFP in recent days.
But the latest information taken by the management on the physical condition of the two players plead for their inclusion in the group.
Other recent holders remain fragile without their summons being called into play, like Jules Koundé, preserved by FC Barcelona, and Lucas Hernandez, who recently returned to the field with Bayern Munich.
The coach retains some leeway since the final list must be sent Monday at 7:00 p.m. to Fifa. In the event of a serious injury, he can also make last-minute replacements until November 21.
Will “DD” create surprise by calling a novice, as with Jules Koundé at the Euro in 2021, or a very little capped like Lucas Hernandez before the World Cup in 2018?
The young AC Milan defender Pierre Kalulu or his compatriot from Leipzig Mohamed Simakan, both 22, are probably dreaming of getting out of their hat.