A massive doubt was created ahead of France’s World Cup start against Australia on June 16 when striker Olivier Giroud was substituted following a clash of heads in the warm-up game against USA. In the 1-1 draw between the two teams, Giroud and USA’s defender Matt Miazga collided which left both players in a heap of blood. Ousmane Dembele then came on as a replacement for Giroud in the 58th minute. Medical staff placed a bandage around the Chelsea striker’s head before he walked off the field off his own accord.
France, placed in Group C, will open their campaign against Australia on June 16 with the tournament getting underway on June 14 when hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia. Other teams in the group are Peru and Denmark.
With less than a week to get ready, Giroud will race against time to get ready for Les Bleus’ first game. However, coach Didier Deschamps has plenty of firepower up his sleeve should the 31-year-old not be fit in time. But in his absence, France will be without an out-and-out striker even with the presence of the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe in the forward line. Additionally, playing with Giroud allows for Deschamps to employ a 4-3-3 formation which is most suitable for Paul Pogba, Mbappe and Griezmann. Without Giroud, that fluidity gets upset.
In the last warm-up game for France before the World Cup, Julian Green struck first to give USA, who failed to qualify for Russia, the lead in the 44th minute before Mbappe drew level in the 78th minute. There were chances for Pogba, who struck the past, and Nabil Fekir to get a full-strength French squad the win in Lyon but for goalkeeper Zack Steffen.