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Didier Deschamps could hand Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Kylian Mbappe important game time ahead of the summer

Didier Deschamps could hand Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Kylian Mbappe important game time ahead of the summer

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France are looking to get their World Cup preparations for this summer's tournament back on track.

Didier Deschamps' side suffered a shock 3-0 defeat to Colombia on Friday night - despite leading the South American side 2-0.

Manchester United star Paul Pogba could return to the side after missing the clash with Colombia, while Antonie Greizmann, Kylian Mbappe and Anthony Martial are also likely to get a run out in St Petersburg.

Russia are also looking to find some form ahead of their home World Cup, with Friday's 3-0 thrashing to Brazil hinting there is a lot of work to be done before the opening match against Saudi Arabia in June.

Russia : Lunev; Samedov, Neustadter, Granat, Kudryashov, Zhirkov; Erokhin, Golovin, Dzagoev, Al Miranchuk; Smolov

France : Lloris; Pavard, Koscielny, Umtiti, Hernandez; Pogba, Kante, Rabiot; Dembele, Mbappe, Martial

You can follow all the action LIVE here with Mirror Football as well MUTV...


He’s had a tough season but Paul Pogba has shown his class with this.

30-odd yards out his free-kick curled over the wall and hit the side netting.

It was as perfect a set piece you could want - stunning from the United man!


The second half is underway at the Krestovsky Stadium.

France good value for the 1-0 lead at the break.

Here’s hoping for a bit more action in the second.

Mbappe goal in pics

(Image: AFP)
(Image: AFP)

Pogba blasted over 'Pogseries'

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been slammed for his World Cup ‘Pogseries’ and told to concentrate on football.

France ace Pogba has recently been dropped by United boss Jose Mourinho after struggling for consistency in 2018 and is now battling to keep his place in Les Bleus’ starting XI after a poor display as a substitute in Friday night’s loss to Colombia.

But the former Juventus man has agreed to star in a documentary series, following him on the road to Russia this summer.

More here

(Image: REX/Shutterstock)


There is the half time whistle.

France lead through Mbappe’s 40th minute strike.

Not a classic so far!

44 minutes

That has got France purring.

They are now moving the ball around with spirit and quality.

And should have added a second goal.

Martial fluffing his lines about four yards out.

The United winger miss hits straight into Lunev’s grasps.


This is a good team goal from France.

It starts deep before ripping through Russia.

Really top through ball from Pogba to release Mbappe and the PSG man does the rest.

37 minutes

After a France blitz it has all calmed down a bit.

Russia are asking a few questions but they are more rhetoric than anything with France defending simply.

The quality really isn’t there which is a worry for both sides ahead of the World Cup.

(Image: AFP)

34 minutes

Penalty shot for France.

Although not really.

Martial goes down in the box but not really enough contact to warrant a foul.

32 minutes

Lunev is quietly have a storming half here.

He’s got his line well here to punch away a free kick from the flank.

France ramping up the pressure now.

31 minutes

Grimaces for Pogba and Mbappe.

Both have been the receiving end of rather hefty challenges at the hands of the Russians.

The duo are both ok to continue without any attention.

26 minutes

France finally create their first real opening of the match and Mbappe’s blown it!

Really good clip to the back post by Martial but the PSG man has slammed straight at Lunev.

He really should have down better there.

Promising signs for the French though.

Brazil were given a tricky opening 45 minutes against Russia on Friday before running riot in the second half.

(Image: REUTERS)

21 minutes

France recycling the ball around midfield nicely and keeping the ball away from the Russians.

They need to inject some confidence in, which looks to have been shot by that turnaround against Colombia.

(Image: AFP)

17 minutes

Russia are matching France man for man at the moment.

Lloris is the first keeper to be tested as Smolov forces a low save out of him.

Decent stop that after he looked to have been wrong footed.

Will this be the wake up call for Didier Deschamps’ side?

(Image: REUTERS)

15 minutes

There’s our first shot of the game, although it looked more like a hashed clearance into row-z.

Dzagoev is the man to take aim hopelessly from out side the area.

This really must improve soon.

11 minutes

First sniff for Pogba.

He attempts to get on the end of a cross into the middle but is easily beaten in the air by keeper Lunev.

Here is Lloris coming of his line a little earlier.

(Image: AFP)

10 minutes

Good defending at both ends.

Lloris sprints off his line quickly and slides to quickly deny a sniff of a chance.

Then a marauding Mbappe is well blocked off by Neustadter.

7 minutes

Still no chances for either side.

The closest we have come is Mbappe getting in the side with a sublime turn of pace.

But well defended by the Russians.

No real tempo to the game yet.

3 minutes

Russia already looking much better in the early stages if this one than they did at any point against Brazil.

They are passing around nicely and look to be holding their shape.

France’s class is showing as well when they get the ball.


Off we go in Saint Petersburg...

Minutes silence

First of all we will have a minute’s silence.

It is for Arnaud Beltrame the police man who swapped places with a hostage in the recent terror attack.

Proper hero.

National anthems

The players are on the pitch!

Two classic anthems up first though.

France belt there one out - it really is an amazing tune.

Russia follows, not quite as strong but still incredibly patriotic.

Russia World Cup Power Rankings

Didier Deschamps’ side looked well placed to win the European Championships’ two years ago, but, were either: a) not intelligent enough to break down Portugal in the final, or b) the width of a post away from success.

Whichever way you look at it, Les Bleus were good enough to win, but fell at the final hurdle. Heading to Russia, they’ve been given a big helping hand with their group, as they should be far too good for Australia, Peru and, while Denmark will offer a test, they should see them off also.

The emergence of Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele gives Deschamps tremendous options in attack to supplement Antoine Griezmann, and they have depth in all areas. The problem for Deschamps during his tenure has been finding a system in which his best players consistently flourish. Spain may well await in the quarter-finals, hence why they’re fifth here.


(Image: AFP/Getty Images)

Russia World Cup Power Rankings

Football-wise, the country was on a high after the national team reached the semi-finals of Euro 2008. Since then, it’s been all downhill.

On the back of a dismal Euro 2016 campaign, they were dumped out of the Confederations Cup at the group stage last summer, beating New Zealand but losing to both Portugal and Mexico.

Coach Stanislav Cherchesov prefers to play three at the back, utilising 3-5-2 in a bid to get the most out of two strikers with good movement, Fyodor Smolov and Aleksandr Kokorin. CSKA Moscow midfielder Aleksandr Golovin is their best player, but Uruguay and Egypt certainly won’t fear them, despite being hosts.


(Image: Michael Regan - FIFA)

France warm up

France look like they walked straight off the catwalk at Paris fashion week as they warm up.

Those training tops are magnifique even if it does look like they are ready for a naval battle.

Just over 10 minutes until kick off in Russia.

(Image: AFP)
(Image: AFP)

Russia team news

Lunev; Samedov, Neustadter, Granat, Kudryashov, Zhirkov; Erokhin, Golovin, Dzagoev, Al Miranchuk; Smolov

France team news

Paul Pogba trains with France amid fresh uncertainty over Man United future

Paul Pogba trained with France yesterday ahead of their game against World Cup hosts Russia amidst the uncertainty of his Manchester United future.

The midfielder will likely start the game and no doubt will be aware of the reports linking him with a move away from Old Trafford this summer.

Reports that Jose Mourinho has lost patience with Pogba are rife and even some United stars are reportedly disappointed that the £89million midfielder focuses more on his image than his football.

The Red Devils still have a core of senior pros like Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones who all played under Sir Alex Ferguson.

And Pogba is believed to have been told to rein in his social media activity and concentrate on delivering the high-level performances they know he is capable of.

Mourinho is clear he has to win at least one major trophy next season – and he is targeting FOUR world stars to catapult United back among Europe’s elite – with Pogba as bait.

The top duo on his hit list are Bernabeu stars Raphael Varane and Toni Kroos as Mourinho looks to import quality into defence and midfield.

(Image: AFP)

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