Benzema’s absence could be blessing in disguise for France

by | 22 November, 2022 | Ligue 1 News

Al Sadd SC Stadium, Doha, Qatar - November 19, 2022 France's Karim Benzema during training

Al Sadd SC Stadium, Doha, Qatar – November 19, 2022 France’s Karim Benzema during training

DOHA, Nov 21 (Reuters)Karim Benzema‘s last-minute withdrawal was labelled as a blow by everyone in the French squad but could actually be a blessing in disguise as Kylian Mbappe is now expected to be paired with his favoured attacking partner in Olivier Giroud.

Mbappe and Benzema have brilliantly combined at times but the Paris St Germain striker has said that Giroud’s style of play probably suited him better.

The AC Milan forward’s lone striker position offers Mbappe a perfect support in or near the area whereas he and Benzema might have taken up each other’s space.

Both are likely to start together in the defending champion’s Group D opener against Australia on Tuesday, with Ousmane Dembele adding his speed and Antoine Griezmann his tempo-controlling skills.

“With France, I’ve got more freedom than with my club, the coach knows that he has a number nine like Olivier who weighs on the defence,” Mbappe said in September, when Giroud was recalled in the absence of the injured Benzema.

“So it gives me space to ask for the ball.”

France beat Austria 2-0 in the Nations League and Mbappe was full of praise for Giroud.