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Thursday, November 10, 2011

USA vs. France preview.

The USMNT takes on the French National team tomorrow, Friday @ 2:30 ET on Espn 2, and as American, I am hoping for a French breakdown akin to the one in South Africa 2010. 

This is likely not to happen, as the bad blood has been willed out since the departure of manager Raymond Domenech and the introduction of Laurent Blanc. The former Bordeaux manager has reigned in the respect of the French team, stamping his seal on the team with mixing up the line-up and injecting new blood into the side. This French side is ranked #15, in terms of Fifa's rankings, and with a weakened side most likely played, the U.S. will still struggle to find any joy from the game.

This game, be it a friendly, poses the most strenuous test for Jurgen Klinsmann's yanks, and prepare your self for NO real change what-so-ever. I predict a 3-0 defeat, in which my disappointment will be compounded with John Harke's top-notch analysis, saying, Well...

Brek Shea has announced himself as an International player, showing well on the left side of midfield.

Kyle Beckerman holds the ball well, and is very helpful to the back-line with the added support he provides, all be-it letting in 3 goals.

Michael Orozco- Fiscal is crap, and should not be playing for the USMNT, but in John Harke's words, "He has room to improve." But once again we will see, even if Jurgen doesn't, that Fiscal is not a class player.

Jozy Altidore, struggles up-top by himself, making no impact really, beside maybe one or two good hold up's. He will be removed at the 73' mark, only to be replaced by____ shit? insert the blank, with Agudelo not selected to travel. 

But with all that said, it;s " The Big Picture," that matters.

With Landon Donovan competing in the MLS cup final, the American talisman has not traveled to France, so in this light who's his replacement?  Looks to be the 23-year old Hoffenheim, "German-American" midfielder Fabian Johnson.

Now I present the US Lineup:

The side that will be under the cosh from the start, and will sitting deeper than this image portrays.

For the French side that we ride out to battle will see some refreshment, with on-form PSG striker Kevin Gameiro getting the nod from the start, but not in his usual lone-striker role for his club side, but as a support striker for Karim Benzema, with Marseille's Loic Remy's questionable inclusion.

Influential defender Patrice Evra will not ply for Les Bleus, which for me is not a loss at all. Once the worlds best left-back, the Man United player has been in decline the last couple years,  caught out of position to often, unable to make it back to defend after his marauding runs forward. In all honesty against the US that's not a real big issue, but having the on-form Valencia left back Jeremy Mathieu is better value for your franc's...sorry euros.

Look out for midfield dynamo, Yann M'vila from Rennes to be holding it down in the middle of the park. Somewhat overlooked by media outlets, this Makelele reminiscent player has exploded through the ranks of late, being target by Arsenal for a move to London last summer. Partnering M'vila in the center will be either Marvin Martin or Newcastle newboy, Yohan Cabaye.

We all know what to expect from Franck Ribery and Blanc's favorite Jeremy Menez, who will ask some real soul-searching Q's of Timmy Chandler and Steve Cherundolo.

Here's the French Line-up:

Ouch that hurts!

Line-ups provided by The Shin Gaurdian

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