The US will face its toughest test this summer when it squares off against France on Saturday, June 9th. France, according to oddschecker.com is favored to go far in the 2018 World Cup with only Brazil and Germany having better odds of winning it all.
Unlike the teams the US has already faced recently in Bolivia and Ireland, France is just a week away from participating in the World Cup. There will be no “B” squad taking the field for France. Expect a star-studded lineup that includes the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, Ousmane Dembele, N’Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane, Hugo Lloris and the talent goes on and on. The French will be looking to work out the final kinks in their game plan prior to flying to Russia at the conclusion of this friendly.
We are breaking down what you need to know as our beloved Baby Yanks take on Les Bleus.
When: Saturday, June 9th at 1:00 pm Mountain Time
Where: Groupama Stadium in Decines-Charpie, France
How to watch: ESPN and UniMas
What you need to know about the US: This will be only the fourth time that the USA will face off against France in their history. Despite both teams being regular staples at the World Cup, 2018 excluded, they have never been placed in the same group nor met in the knockout stages. In their three previous meetings, all friendlies, France has pummeled the US, winning all three matches and outscoring the US 10 to 0. If the US scores on Saturday, it will be historic in that it will be the first time ever that the US has registered a goal against Les Bleus.
Things seem to be headed in a similar direction for the US in this match. The US is loaded with young, blossoming talent, but they are going up against world class footballers playing for the largest clubs in the world. The best thing the US players can do is soak in an amazing experience and get a front row seat to how elite nations play. They will receive an education at the hands of France that is invaluable to their careers and the future of the US national team. The youngsters would do well to pay attention to the skill and professionalism of their counterparts and seek to mimic that in the years of qualifying ahead.
What you need to know about France: The French contingent will most likely have two goals heading into Saturday’s tilt. First, finalize their tactics that they plan on using in Russia. Second, don’t get injured. This young US team is hungry and looking to prove that they belong. If that enthusiasm carries them into a heavy challenge or two, expect some vitriol and disdain from the French players and fans. Teams that are the caliber of France expect to make deep runs into the World Cup, to do that they need all their players healthy and able to rotate through the many matches played in such a short time. This is France’s last chance to tinker before the matches matter, so expect to see a lot of substitutions and possible formation changes throughout the match.
Our prediction: I love the fire that the US Men’s National Team has displayed over the last two weeks. It warms my disenfranchised heart to see the talent and energy that these youngsters have. The future is bright for the US Men’s team, but for now they are going to take their lumps. We expect France to route the US to the tune of 3-0. Aide-nous Dieu!