FRANCE IS HOPING FOR A LIGHT HORSE FINAL, since Les Bleus can no longer be considered dark horses. But, these filles are not the only light horses in the tournament, or in their group, as France finds themselves in the same starting gate as the United States.
- How They Qualified: One of the top 2 UEFA teams in the 2011 Women’s World Cup
- FIFA Rank: #6
- Previous Olympics: none
- 2011 WWC Performance: Fourth Place
- Key Players: Marie-Laure Delie (forward), Sonia Bompastor (fullback), Louisa Necib (midfielder), Camile Abily (midfielder)
- Head Coach: Bruno Bini (France)
- Team Captain: Sandrine Soubeyrand
- Recent Form: W, W, W
- Group Finish Probabilities: 1st, 30%; 2nd, 50%; 3rd, 15%; 4th, 5%
- Medal Chances: Strong
17 AND 0 SINCE THE WOMEN’S WORLD CUP — France has won all of its matches since their fourth place finish in Germany last year. (FIFA.com) Six of those wins are official matches for Women’s Euro qualifying, where France’s most challenging group opponent is Scotland. (UEFA.com)
BUT 2-3-1 DURING — In the 2011 Women’s World Cup, France only won its first two matches, against Nigeria (1:0) and Canada (4:0). Then, France lost 2:4 to Germany, drew 1:1 with England in the quarterfinals but survived via an 88th minute equalizer to and a penalties shoot-out, then lost to the United States 1:3, and was defeated 1:2 by Sweden even though France had a woman advantage due to a dubious red card.
RECENT MATCHES — France did not have any Women’s Euro qualifying matches in June, so they used that month for recuperation and training. In July, Les Bleues played three tune-ups against succesively more diffiult teams: a 6:0 win over Romania, a 3:0 win versus Russia, and a 2:0 defeat of Japan. (For more details and video highlights see an earlier post.)
INJURIES — Captain Sandrine Soubeyrand, a holding midfielder, is still recovering from a thigh injury, which has been described as a “contracture” and seems unlikely to to start in France’s opening match.
PROBABLE STARTERS — As discussed in an earlier post, the likely line-up:
Franco (RB) — Renard (CB) — Meilleroux (CB) — Bompastor (LB)
Abily (CM) — Bussaglia (HM)
Thomis (RM) — Necib (AM) — Thiney (LM)
See the linked post for a discussion about possible variations.
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- Notes On France’s Tune-Up Matches (line-ups, minutes played, goal scorers, links to highlight videos)
- Write-up on France’s Olympic roster (discussion of roster changes)
- All posts about France
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- Team Previews Overview
- GROUP E: Great Britain, Brazil, New Zealand, Cameroon
- GROUP F: Japan, Sweden, Canada, South Africa
- GROUP G: United States, France, North Korea, Colombia