precautionary packages for Diani and Katoto, suspensions for the Final Four to avoid… Les Bleues in management against Portugal

Already qualified for the Final Four since its victory against Austria, the France team travels to Portugal on Tuesday to conclude its Nations League campaign undefeated, but above all without any unexpected events.

France Télévisions – Sports Editorial


Reading time: 3 min

The Bleues coach, Hervé Renard, during France-Norway in the Nations League in Reims, October 31, 2023. (MATTHIEU MIRVILLE / AFP)

“We will probably rotate it because there are some who are getting impatient too.” As soon as the qualification was recorded for the semi-finals of the League of Nations four days ago, following the success against Austria (3-0), Hervé Renard announced the color for this last opposition of the year, against Portugal, Tuesday December 5, at Dr. Magalhães Pessoa stadium from Leiria.

On the Tricolore side, this sixth and final day will count for nothing since the Blues can no longer be dislodged from first place in their group. With the Final Four next February and Paris 2024 still in the back of his mind, the coach has decided to enter a phase of managing his workforce.

“Take almost no risk”

For this second half of training, he decided to rest Kadidiatou Diani, who came out during the break against Austria, and Marie-Antoinette Katoto, both victims of a “muscle discomfort in one thigh”. The two ex-club teammates left the gathering this Monday, as a precaution, while Manchester United striker Melvine Malard was called in to make up for their absences.

Two young defenders who played with the U23s this month are also propelled to the forefront: Girondine Hillary Diaz and Thiniba Samoura of PSG. “We are also subject to possible suspensions for six players. If they receive a yellow card [contre le Portugal]they will be suspended for the semi-final so we will take almost no risk”justified Hervé Renard this Monday during a press point.

Under threat, we find several of its usual starters: Elisa De Almeida, Amandine Henry, Eugénie Le Sommer, Griedge Mbock and Wendie Renard, in addition to midfielder Léa Le Garrec. “There will be five” on the bench at kick-off, the tactician confirmed, without revealing any names.

Goal of invincibility with a revamped team

Faced with the Lusitaniennes – who, for their part, must win at all costs and hope for a misstep from Norway in Austria to stay in League A – the Blue should therefore present themselves with a reshuffled team. Players hitherto confined to replacement roles will thus have an opportunity to prove themselves.

“I think it’s wiser. The notion of group will be reinforced, because those who play will have the duty to maintain this invincibilityrecalled Hervé Renard before the French women’s training at the venue where they will complete a rich international year on Tuesday. The priority objective is to remain undefeated in this group stage. We are the team that scored the most points in the four groups [de Ligue A]. It’s up to us to continue because being invincible is always good for morale.”

A subtle way of suggesting to the substitutes, who have to take more playing time than usual against the Portuguese, to show themselves. If the truths of December will not necessarily be those of next summer, the folding seats will be expensive for the Olympic Games with a list reduced to 18 elements, so it is better not to waste a beautiful cartridge.

source site-18