Newcastle star's uphill struggle, Arsenal man a certainty: France WC squad chances

French website MaxiFoot has given their verdict on what percentage each player has of making Didier Deschamps' World Cup squad.

With only five months to go before the start of the World Cup in Brazil, various national team managers will be looking at narrowing down their lists and thinking about how they will include in their final 23-man squads.

French website MaxiFoot has published a list of who it believes has the best chance for making Didier Deschamps squad come the summer. With many of his 23-man squad currently playing in England, it could be interesting for Premier League fans to see what chance their players have of booking a place on the French plane heading for Brazil.

Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris, is given the 100% mark. This is no surprise as he has been Deschamps first choice ‘keeper throughout the qualification process. It comes as a little bit of a shock to see Newcastle United’s Mathieu Debuchy included on the list of certainties. He struggled with the pressures of the Premier League when he first joined last season, but the right-back has vastly improved his performances this season, also the lack of viable replacements would make it hard for him to lose his place.

Arsenal are well represented, of course, with Laurent Koscielny given full marks, Bacary Sagna just misses the full 100%, it seems harsh that he is awarded 98% - it would be a shock to see him not make the World Cup squad. Especially as no other right-backs appear on the list of 12 defenders named.

Manchester based left-backs, Patrice Evra and Gael Clichy, both make the list at 94% and 93%, the other challenger to both Premier League defenders is PSG’s Lucas Digne, but the youngster hasn’t started enough games for his club this season. There is little doubt that with first team football the former Lille defender would be on the plane. Evra and Clichy should count themselves lucky to be given such a high mark.

After his inspired performance against Ukraine in the World Cup play-off, there is little doubt that Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho will be included in Deschamps’ squad, to give him 97% is a little harsh. He has earned that place on the plane.

Chelsea target Eliaquim Mangala has only been given an 11% chance at making the squad, with the likes of Eric Abidal judged to be ahead of him; the 22-year-old should have a much higher chance. Abidal looked off the pace against the Ukraine, and with one eye on the European Championships in 2016; there should be a few youthful choices in the squad. Mangala would be an excellent option.

Former Newcastle United midfielder, Yohan Cabaye has been given the full 100% mark, his former teammate Moussa Sissoko has been awarded a 63% chance of making the squad. His performances for Newcastle have been inconsistent of late, and it will depend on how many central midfielders that Deschamps wants to take.

Right now the likes of Rio Mavuba, Maxime Gonalons and Geoffrey Kondogbia might make more sense. Manchester City’s Samir Nasri was given an 83% chance of making Deschamps squad, quite a massive turnaround for the midfielder after he was dismissed from the squad for so long. He is still a player that splits the French fans down the middle, his percentage could be a lot lower, and that depends on Nasri himself

Another Newcastle player to be given a low score is Loic Remy, MaxiFoot think he only has a 53% chance of making the squad in Brazil. With 11 goals this season and a lack of attacking options that can play centrally and wide, it would be a surprise to see Remy omitted. Marseille wingers Dimitri Payet and Florian Thauvin are both in with a shout to make the 23-man squad, but it would be a huge surprise not to see Remy in Deschamps thoughts, definitely higher than 50/50.

Upfront, Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud is a certainty to be on the plane, Karim Benzema is also given 100%, but outside of those two, there is definitely space for a few surprise entries. Arsenal target Antoine Griezmann has completed his international ban and his form for Real Sociedad has given him a 57% chance of making the squad.

Another player linked with Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette, has only been given a 30% chance. He scored his 13th goal of the season against Nantes this weekend, this should put him up there with as good a chance as Griezmann.

Didier Deschamps was asked about certainties when he spoke to French Football Weekly, and he was quick to dismiss the fact that anyone had a guaranteed place in his squad:

“The definites, you’ll know who they are when I give you the list in May. No one is a definite today, except for me and my staff. As for the players, there are still several months to go, there is still a friendly against the Netherlands in March, for which the selection will be important, but the most important is the one in May.”

images: © korobukkuru, © korobukkuru

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