France will be keen on maintaining their excellent run of form when they host Andorra on Tuesday in the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers.
France will look to remain on top of Group H as they host Andorra at Stade de France on Tuesday evening. The world champions are currently leading the table with 12 points on the board. They have won four of their five matches so far.
However, they are being closely followed by Turkey and Iceland, both of whom have also mustered 12 points but trail France. Either way, it’s a must-win game for Les Bleus if they are to retain their status as the leaders of Group H.
They will be full of confidence, coming on the back of an impressive 4-1 win over Albania in their last game. Didier Deschamps’ side dominated possession and were on top for the entirety of the game. And they will be hoping for more of the same when they face Andorra on Tuesday.
Andorra are one of the minnows of the Euro 2020 Qualifiers, having failed to win a single game so far. They are also yet to score a single goal. That being said, they performed really well against Turkey but were unlucky as a late goal from Ozan Tufan helped the Group H giants secure all three points.
Here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over both the sides ahead of this exciting encounter at Stade de France on Tuesday.
Team News & Tactics
France boss Didier Deschamps is expected to ring in the changes against a lowly Andorra side on Tuesday. Some of the players, however, will retain their place in the starting lineup including Hugo Lloris in goal. Raphael Varane is also a guaranteed starter at the heart of the four-man backline. FC Barcelona star Clement Lenglet will partner him.
There might be a change at left-back, with Lucas Hernandez making way for Lucas Digne. Benjamin Pavard, meanwhile, will retain his place on the opposite flank.
In midfield, Matteo Guendouzi is poised to make his first appearance for the French national team after being called up by Deschamps earlier this month. The Arsenal youngster will form the double pivot alongside Bayern Munich star Corentin Tolisso, though Moussa Sissoko also makes a strong case.
In attack, Jonathan Ikone could be given a start, ahead of Thomas Lemar. The LOSC Lille star will operate on the right flank, with Kingsley Coman shifting to the opposite flank. The Bayern Munich winger scored two goals against Albania and will be desperate to add more to his tally versus Andorra.
Olivier Giroud is expected to spearhead the France attack, though Wissam Ben Yedder is pushing for a start as well. Antoine Griezmann will support the Chelsea veteran in the number ten role. Nabil Fekir could be an alternative, should Deschamps choose to rest the Barcelona superstar.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Lenglet, Digne; Guendouzi, Tolisso; Ikone, Griezmann, Coman; Giroud
Andora have quite an experienced side compared to most other international teams. Head coach Koldo Alvarez isn’t expected to make too many changes to the team that suffered a narrow defeat to Turkey in the last game. That means Sebastian Gomez will continue to lead the Andorra attack, alongside Marcio Vieira.
Koldo is likely to employ a deep defensive block once again, meaning the central defensive duo of Max Llovera and Ildefons Lima will operate quite deep. It will be interesting to see how captain Lima, at the age of 39, manages to cope with the mighty French attack.
Whether or not he will start also remains a doubt, with Marc Rebes serving as an additional option at the heart of Andorra’s four-man backline. Moises San Nicolas meanwhile will be deployed in the right-back slot, with Joan Cervos occupying the opposite side.
While Rebes may not feature in central defence, his defensive qualities might become useful in the holding midfield role, where he will likely be partnered by Marc Vales, who is also a central defender and plays in Norway, for Sandefjord.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Gomes; San Nicolas, Llovera, Lima, Cervos; Clemente, Rebes, Vales, Rodriguez; Martinez, Vieira
- France have scored 16 goals in their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign so far – a tally only bettered by Russia (17 goals).
- France have scored four goals in a single game four times in the five matches they have played so far in the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers – more than any other side.
- Along with San Marino, Liechtenstein and Gibraltar, Andorra are one of the four sides yet to score a goal in the qualifying campaign.
- Andorra are currently on a five-game losing steak, during which they have conceded 11 goals and failed to find the back of the net.
- Andorra’s last win came in a friendly against Liechtenstein way back in March 2018. Marc Rebes was the only goalscorer of the game.
Player to Watch
LOSC Lille star Jonathan Ikone is certainly turning out to be a star in Ligue 1. Following the departure of Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal, the youngster has slotted in well, though he is yet to score or assist in the four games he has played this season.
Ikone was rewarded for his performances with a call up to the national team this week. And he made quite a mark against Albania, notably scoring the fourth goal after coming on as a substitute. It’s probably fair to assume that the attacking midfielder will be given a starting berth against Andorra.
It could be an exciting opportunity for Ikone to showcase his talents. His pace and creativity in the final third will surely cause a lot of problems for the visitors defence.
France 4-0 Andorra
France won 4-0 when these two teams previously met back in June. And we expect a similar scoreline this time around against an Andorra side that will provide minimal threat going forward. Their fate will likely depend on how they plan to deal with the offensive trio of Griezmann, Coman and Ikone. But, considering the quality of the team, along with the backing of the home support, we expect France to win this one comprehensively.