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Category: France

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When Arsenal showed France tough love on Valentine’s Day

Michel Platini thought playing a ‘very British’ Arsenal team at Highbury would prepare France for a World Cup qualifier in Scotland, but the plan backfired. France lost both matches 2-0By Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogIt’s hard to imagine Arsena…

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French rugby players questioned over Edinburgh bar fight

French rugby federation confirms some of its players are being questioned over incident after Six Nations game at MurrayfieldFrench rugby players are being questioned by police after a fight in a bar in Edinburgh following the team’s game against Scotl…

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Corinne Diacre: ‘People with nasty intentions say women coaching men is impossible’

The coach who climbed through a glass ceiling when she was appointed by Clermont Foot is now in charge of France’s women’s side and has spent a lifetime overcoming the oddsLa Creuse is a rural part of provincial France, right in the middle of the count…

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Thomas Lemar: humble, shy and set to be the subject of more mammoth bids

The Monaco and France midfielder has already turned down a €100m move to Arsenal but he cannot avoid attention from Premier League clubs much longerBy Adam White for Get French Football News, of the Guardian Sport NetworkThomas Lemar, a Caen player at …

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French sailor François Gabart makes fastest solo circumnavigation

Journey around world took 42 days and 16 hours – six days faster than previous recordThe French sailor François Gabart has broken the record for sailing solo around the world, circumnavigating the planet in 42 days and 16 hours.That is more than six da…

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World Cup 2018 draw – live!

Russia 2018 groups decided at draw in Moscow, from 3pm GMTStadium guide | Create your own draw | How the draw worksAnd feel free to email Simon or tweet him @Simon_Burnton 2.13pm GMT Update: Diego Maradona has located a razor. And a suit. And a comedy …

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Russia World Cup 2018 draw: team-by-team guide to all 32 countries

With the draw taking place in Moscow on Friday, here is everything you need to know about the teams, from star players to tactics and the ones to watch Continue reading…

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France’s forwards sparkle as they make case to be among World Cup favourites

Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Alexandre Lacazette scored for France in the international break – and Kylian Mbappé was their standout playerBy Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football NewsIt is difficult to draw too many conclusions fr…

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France’s forwards sparkle as they make case to be among World Cup favourites

Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Alexandre Lacazette scored for France in the international break – and Kylian Mbappé was their standout playerBy Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football NewsIt is difficult to draw too many conclusions fr…

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David Poisson, French Olympic skier, dies in training accident aged 35

2013 world championship bronze medalist killed in Canada on Monday35-year-old was preparing for World Cup races in North AmericaFrench skier David Poisson, who won a bronze medal in the downhill at the 2013 world championships, died in a training accid…

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Wales swept aside by France after Gareth Bale suffers new injury setback

Chris Coleman certainly will not forget Wales’ night of torment in Paris if this is to be one of his final games in charge of Wales.Antoine Griezmann starred in an attacking masterclass to force his stubborn Wales side into submission at the Stade de F…

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Tiémoué Bakayoko: ‘To follow in Makelele’s footsteps is a real motivation’

The midfielder arrived at Chelsea after a sensational title-winning season with Monaco but has had a few bumps along the road before becoming a Premier League star and France internationalThursday afternoon in sleepy Surrey and Tiémoué Bakayoko, sporti…

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World Cup 2018 power rankings: Germany on top among qualified 23 | Nick Ames

Twenty-three nations have booked their places for the World Cup in Russia, with the holders and Brazil looking in good shape but we rank England in 13th place, below Iceland

If the world champions were frustrated by their failure to win continental honours at Euro 2016 they have certainly taken it out on everyone else since. Germany won 10 qualifying games out of 10 and, even if San Marino’s presence in Group C needs taking into account, a record 43 goals scored suggests things are back in their old working order. So too did their Confederations Cup title in July, achieved with an experimental squad; Joachim Low can select from an unrivalled depth of talent and, while winning back-to-back World Cups remain a huge task, none of next summer’s contenders has an equivalent selection of tools with which to tackle the different challenges they will face.

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Portugal and France reach World Cup as Holland and Arjen Robben bow out

• Portugal snatch top spot in Group B with 2-0 victory against Switzerland
• Robben retires from internationals after Sweden pip Holland to play-off place

The European champions, Portugal, qualified for next year’s World Cup with a convincing 2-0 win over Switzerland on Tuesday after an own goal by Johan Djourou set them on their way.

The Swiss defender put the ball into his own net four minutes before half-time and André Silva sealed the victory in the 57th minute as Portugal pulled level on 27 points with Switzerland and won Group B on goal difference.

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France, Portugal and Holland in World Cup 2018 qualifying action – live!

Updates from the World Cup qualifiers in groups A, B and HLive scores: all the goals as they go in around EuropeEmail john.ashdown@theguardian.com. Tweet @John_Ashdown 8.10pm BST Unhappy scenes coming through from Tallinn as Bosnia-Herzegovina support…

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Who should play up front for France? It’s time for Didier Deschamps to decide

Deschamps has to pick a balanced team while juggling the talents of Mbappé, Giroud, Dembélé, Griezmann, Lacazette, Payet and Martial – among others

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

France’s narrow victory over Bulgaria on Saturday night means Didier Deschamps has won more games as the Les Blues manager than anyone else, edging above Michel Hidalgo and Raymond Domenech’s record of 41 wins. The 1-0 win in Sofia also means France can guarantee their place at the World Cup next summer by beating Belarus at home on Tuesday night. Sitting one point clear of Sweden before the final fixtures, France are almost certain to be in the draw for the group stage come December, but Deschamps is still far from sure about the squad and starting 11 he will employ in Russia.

Balance has always been crucial for Deschamps. Despite the ludicrous levels of talent at his disposal, he has avoided the temptation of desperately cramming his best players into his team, as Sven-Göran Eriksson did with his midfielders while in charge of England. Deschamps’ use of Paul Pogba is perhaps an exception to that rule, but he tends to prioritise his system and the balance of the team above defaulting to the pound-for-pound quality of individual players. A good example of this is the way he has persisted with Olivier Giroud and Moussa Sissoko, most notably during Euro 2016.

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Holland see off Belarus but need miracle after Sweden’s rout of Luxembourg

• Dutch left needing seven-goal win over Sweden to reach World Cup play-offs
• Belgium beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 4-3 in significant Group H showdown

Holland’s chances of reaching the World Cup finals are almost certainly over, with Saturday night’s results meaning Dick Advocaat’s team need to beat Sweden by seven goals on Tuesday to reach the play-offs, while Bosnia-Herzegovina’s dramatic 4-3 home defeat by Belgium in Sarajevo had implications well beyond their hopes of finishing second in Group H.

The Dutch won 3-1 in Belarus in Group A but look set to miss out on their second major tournament in a row because of their inferior goal difference. Sweden’s 8-0 thrashing of Luxembourg in Solna gives them a goal-difference superiority over Holland of 12 goals and they have also scored more, so would advance if goal difference was level. The Al Ain striker Marcus Berg scored four times and the captain Andreas Granqvist converted a penalty in each half in the Swedes’ biggest victory since 1938.

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Belarus v Holland, Bulgaria v France: World Cup 2018 qualifiers – live!

8.26pm BST

41 min Bulgaria have been much better in the last 10 minutes. They haven’t created much, apart from that chance for Popov a few minutes ago, but the signs are much better.

8.25pm BST

37 min Hugo Lloris redeems his own error with a superb save. He fumbled a long-range shot which kicked up a little awkwardly off the pitch. When the loose ball was knocked back into the six-yard box by Delev, Popov twisted his body to head towards goal and Lloris reacted admirably to paw it away.

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World Cup qualifiers: previews for five of the week’s most intriguing matches

A look at Scotland v Slovakia, Northern Ireland v Germany, Montenegro v Denmark, Turkey v Iceland and Bulgaria v France

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Slovakia’s visit to Glasgow is enormous for Gordon Strachan’s men, who know they will finish second in Group F if they win their final two qualifying games. Anything other than a win on Thursday night will probably be too little for Scotland. Defeat would end their hopes entirely, leaving Slovakia and Slovenia to fight it out for a top-two spot with England; while a draw would give Slovakia a one-point advantage before the final round of fixtures, when they have a favourable home game against Malta. Jan Kozak’s side wouldn’t be disheartened with a share of the spoils provided their neighbours Slovenia, who are also in with a shout of qualifying, don’t spring an upset at Wembley.

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France have all the talent in the world but they look like a team of individuals

Layvin Kurzawa and Kylian Mbappé were poor in France’s goalless draw against Luxembourg but the whole team needs to find an identity very quickly

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

There are no easy answers after France’s goalless draw with Luxembourg in Toulouse on Sunday evening. The hosts should have thumped their tiny neighbours. The disparities between shots, possession, saves made, pass completion percentages and more contemporary metrics such as expected goals clearly pointed to a home win, but it wasn’t to be. France remain top of their group but only by a point and their remaining fixtures – away to Bulgaria and at home to Belarus – could be deceptively tricky.

Bulgaria are no longer the force they once were but they have beaten Holland and Sweden in the group. Had they not lost to Belarus, they might even harbour a hope of qualifying. Belarus, while never too impressive, held France to a goalless draw a year ago. Neither match should be considered an easy contest for France, especially in light of Sunday’s result.

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