World Cup Final: Expect Lionel Scaloni to spin and Didier Deschamps stay – MARTIN KEOWN
MARTIN KEOWN: Lionel Scaloni will leave France in the dark ahead of the World Cup final… Expect the Argentina head coach to twist – and Didier Deschamps to stick to his winning formula
Lionel Scaloni, the youngest coach at this World Cup, has shown his tactical skills by adapting Argentina’s system to the opposition.
Against Australia he used 4-3-3. Against the Netherlands he used 5-3-2. Against Croatia, he deployed 4-2-2-2 and told Rodrigo De Paul and Alexis Mac Allister to latch on to add extra bodies to midfield.
Scaloni will leave France in the dark about which system he will start with. Didier Deschamps, on the other hand, stuck to his 4-3-3 system in this tournament. Unlike Scaloni, Deschamps isn’t as concerned about the competition. And having heard him say he “wants to fight for the title”, I expect France to stick to the system that brought them to this final.
Lionel Scaloni demonstrated tactical skill and acumen in his decisions at the World Cup
The only change he could make is to demand more from Kylian Mbappe defensively as Lionel Messi operates on the same flank. Much is expected of Theo Hernandez and Adrien Rabiot to handle Argentina’s striker as well as Messi when he lurks in midfield.
For any other talented players on display, the threat posed by the two Superstars will still be a deciding factor. If France stops Messi, they can only become the third team to win back-to-back world titles in history. Conversely, Argentina will want to stop Mbappe and hope his magician immortalises himself as modern football’s greatest player.
Didier Deschamps has often persuaded his team to act pragmatically and is unlikely to change now
Messi and Mbappe’s supporting cast sacrificed themselves
This final is billed as Messi v Mbappe – a duel between two box office stars who can make you grab the person next to you in disbelief. But it’s the plan everyone else on the Argentine and French teams are committed to that could ultimately decide this showdown.
Messi and Mbappe’s team-mates work extraordinarily hard to create key moments for their superstars to thrive.
A recurring movement from Argentina has been noticed at this World Cup. When Messi drifts deep into midfield, De Paul or Mac Allister react by flying forward. Often one or both of their full-backs, Nahuel Molina on the right and Marcos Acuna on the left, do the same.
Lionel Messi is Argentina’s undisputed star – but others have sacrificed themselves for him
Much like Kylian Mbappe, his teammates have enabled him to find success at yet another World Cup
They do this so that the opposing defense is stretched and occupied. It prevents an opposing defender from getting to Messi and leaves plenty of potential passes for the little wizard once he receives the ball.
An example of this movement was when Messi Molina – Argentina’s right winger – assisted against the Netherlands. The pass was perfect, the finish was flawless and the whole move was great.
Pushing up nowhere to be seen
We’ve seen the Premier League dominated by high pressing, with Manchester City and Liverpool relentlessly in search of the ball in the last third. But that was not a feature of either France’s or Argentina’s schedules at this World Cup. With their luxury players, they prefer to sit in a middle block and keep opponents at bay through their positioning on the field. Possession of the ball is not the be-all and end-all for these teams.
Griezmann is the No. 1 team player in the world
Antoine Griezmann has proven to be the best team player in the world right now. He is important both in and out of possession and is close to making his 74th straight game for France. Griezmann falls exceptionally well behind the two French midfielders to fulfill his defensive duties, epitomized in that semi-final win over Morocco. But even with the ball at his feet, he remains deadly.
Antoine Griezmann has established himself as the best team player in the world at the moment
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11547655/MARTIN-KEOWN-Expect-Lionel-Scaloni-twist-Didier-Deschamps-stick.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 World Cup Final: Expect Lionel Scaloni to spin and Didier Deschamps stay – MARTIN KEOWN