Opponent Watch: Deschamps prepared to overlook France stars

Didier Deschamps has warned his galaxy of France stars that not all of them a guaranteed a spot in his FIFA World Cup squad.

A month out from Les Bleus' squad selection, the former national team captain insists reputations will play no part in assembling the final roster.

Peru coach Ricardo Gareca has also provided an insight into his pre-tournament planning, while the South Americans are being closely monitored by one of the most experienced players the Caltex Socceroos will meet in Group C.

Get the latest on our opponents in this week's Opponent Watch.


Les Bleus boss Deschamps has marked May 15 as the date he will announce his 23-man squad for Russia.

And, in an interview with the French Football Federation, the 1998 FIFA World Cup winner claims he is prepared to leave out players who may consider themselves worthy.

"[The aim] is not necessarily to pick the best 23 players but to form a group that seems the most likely to go the furthest in the competition," Deschamps said.

"I know very well that some players will deserve to go the World Cup but they will not be on my list.

"In Russia, some players won't play or they will just a little. I do not know who yet, but it will be the case anyway.

"Football qualities are essential, but the social aspect and the team spirit are both also very important."

One player that certainly made a compelling case over the weekend was regular squad member Olivier Giroud, who came off the bench to net a match-winning for Chelsea in their Premier League victory at Southampton.

Deschamps, though, will hardly be short on attacking options when it comes to finalising his 23.


Peru coach Ricardo Gareca has opened up on his intentions for La Blanquirroja to benefit from meticulous planning in their bid to reach the knockout rounds.

Russia 2018 might be the country's first appearance at the FIFA World Cup appearance in 36 years but Gareca, who won 20 caps for Argentina without attending the tournament, is setting a high bar.

"The role we want is to give it our best," the 60-year-old said in an interview with Radio Mitre.

"What I am more ambitious is that the Peruvian team is well prepared, that the plan is defined and that we can execute it. For me that is most important."

Gareca added that he has no concerns over captain Paolo Guerrero's long lay-off leading into the June start date.


If Simon Kjaer has his way, Denmark certainly won't allow Peru to catch them by surprise when the pair meets in Saransk on June 16.

The Sevilla defender, who captains his country and has 74 caps to his credit, admits homework needs to be done on the world's 11th-ranked nation as their playing style remains something of a mystery.

"Peru plays with a different style than we are used to in Europe," Kjaer told Peruvian publication Malmenor.

"The South American teams are always first class, and you do not qualify from your continent unless you are an excellent team.

"France is the group's favorite, and obviously we want to qualify in the group. That is our goal, but I am sure that this is also the goal of Peru and Australia."

Simon Kjaer
Simon Kjaer is on high alert.