Reigning champions France have named their squad for the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with national team coach Didier Deschamps selecting Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, despite concerns about his full fitness.

As far as the World Cup odds are concerned, the French are considered by most football betting sites as the second favourite for the tournament, which starts on November 20th, but in our opinion, Les Bleus are very much the team to beat, with a squad that is jam-packed with talents.

Key Players Missing

Though Deschamps will be without Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, both of whom are out injured, the French squad he has named is more than capable of retaining the crown that they won in Russia in 2018.

The 25-man squad contains four Premier League inclusions in the form of Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris, the French national team captain, West Ham goalie Alphonse Areola, Arsenal defender Wiliam Saliba and Liverpool centre-back Ibrahima Konate.

Stunning Attack

Arguably the French national team have the most complete attacking array on show at the World Cup finals, with an astonishing selection of talents for Deschamps to pick from during the competition.

Veteran Olivier Giroud, who is just two short of Thierry Henry’s national team record of 51 goals, is included, as is PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann. This quartet has a combined total of 156 national team goals, which is quite impressive, to say the least.

Defensive Mix of Youth and Experience

At the back, France can call upon experienced Man United defender Raphael Varane and in-form Arsenal youngster Saliba as well as Barcelona’s Jules Kounde and PSG’s Pascal Kimpembe. 

The likes of Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard, the Bayern Munich pair, were key members of the 2018 squad and are now four years more experienced than when they impressed in Russia. 

Weakness in Midfield

The loss of Kante and Pogba has arguably left France a little short on options in the middle of the park. Juventus star Adrien Rabiot will have to step up, but one imagines young Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni will make a real impact, having impressed since his move to the Spanish capital from AS Monaco.

Strength in Depth

Overall this squad is one that is very capable of coming home with the big prize, and they start their World Cup defence by facing Australia on the 22nd of November before following up that very winnable clash with games against Denmark and Tunisia. 

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Rennes)

Defenders: Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus Turin), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Jordan Veretout (Marseille).

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (FC Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Christopher Nkunku (Leipzig).