France vs Netherlands - Deschamps wants to see France improvement



Posted Saturday, September 08, 2018 by PA

France vs Netherlands - Deschamps wants to see France improvement

France boss Didier Deschamps wants his team to be sharper when they play Holland in the Nations League on Sunday.

Les Blues got their campaign underway with a goalless draw in Germany in midweek, when Deschamps felt his players were slightly off the pace.

France will play their first home match since winning the World Cup this summer when Holland visit the Stade de France and Deschamps is looking for improvement.

“We’re returning home, but we need to be more efficient,” he told uefa.com. “We ran out of steam towards the end against Germany and obviously the entire squad is not yet in top form. Not at this time of the season.

“I haven’t decided yet whether to rotate players – anything is possible. Given that it’s our first match back at the Stade de France, in front of our fans, I’ll see how everyone recovers.”

Deschamps fielded the team that started the World Cup final against Germany on Thursday night, with the only exception being the absence of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

The Tottenham and France captain has a thigh injury and his usual deputy Steve Mandanda is also absent with a hamstring problem, so Alphonse Areola made his debut and will continue with the gloves against the Dutch.

Benjamin Pavard was on the receiving end of a nasty challenge from Antonio Rudiger which left him with stud marks on his neck so he might be replaced by Djibril Sidibe.

While France have gone from strength to strength, Holland have seen their stock fall considerably with back-to-back failures to qualify for major tournaments.

Ronald Koeman is in charge now and tasked with the job of making the Dutch a force in European and world football once more, and he is looking forward to the challenge of facing France.

“They are the world champions for a reason, without really playing great or beautiful football,” he told uefa.com.

“When you want to improve, you have to play against nations of this level. The World Cup has proven that nothing is impossible – just look at [runners-up] Croatia – but we’re certainly the underdogs.”

Koeman’s team beat Peru 2-1 in a friendly on Thursday.

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