France waiting on Gallas fitness as Diarra misses out

24th May 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Previews & Predictions
World Cup Previews & Predictions

World Cup betting on France is seen as an outside bet at best, as the unpredictable side, guided by an unpredictable coach, remain out in the chasing pack of hopefuls. Now Arsenal defender William Gallas who recently crashed a racing buggy, has raised speculation over whether he will be fully fit for the 2010 FIFA World Cup or not. The French squad were letting their hair down and racing buggies around a course when Gallas took a corner too fast. The Frenchman wasn’t injured in the accident, but he is still nursing a calf injury, in which French boss Raymond Domenech is hopeful that he will recover from. Gallas is out of contact with Arsenal in the summer, and his calf injury is threatening to keep him out of action in South Africa. France take on Costa Rica on Wednesday night, and Domenech is not prepared to risk Gallas playing just yet. He knows how valuable Gallas is to the French set up, and will want to do everything in his power to get him on the plane to South Africa.

While there is hope for Gallas, all hopes have ended for France and Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra who has had to pull out of the tournament because of a stomach injury. Diarra’s withdrawal has now left Domenech with his 23 man squad, which includes Gallas, and that could be a serious blow for France’s World Cup Odds. Influential Diarra, who has been training with the French squad at altitude in Tignes, has to rest for an “indefinite period” picked up a stomach injury while on out on a trek, and it is serious enough to have ruled him out of contention for the final 23 man squad which Domenech needs to submit to FIFA on or before June 1st. Rules do allow adjustments to the official squads named on June 1st, but in all likelihood there is going to be no way for Diarra to make the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It could force Domenech into a slight reshuffle, as without their starting holding midfielder Diarra, France are down to just six midfielders left in the squad.

Arsenal’s Abou Diaby has been stepping into Diarra’s role during training, in what could be a big opportunity for the midfielder. Domenech famously dropped the ball by taking Patrick Vieira to Euro 2008 when he wasn’t fully fit, and who didn’t recover in time to play any part in the tournament whilst there. So, Domenech will probably learn from that mistake and not risk Diarra, but with Gallas being more of a borderline cash, an exception could be made. France go in Group A of the World Cup, opening their account against South American side  Uruguay. From there France’s World Cup fixtures sees them take on Mexico and hosts South Africa in a group which they are expected to win without much fuss. There is a strong possibility that the French will meet England at the quarter final stage, if both nations progress as expected after topping their respective groups.

Meanwhile, in other France news, star midfielder Franck Ribery has ended all speculation of a summer move to the Barclays Premier League, by signing a new contract with current club, Bayern Munich. Ribery has been head hunted by top English clubs including Manchester United, but showed his loyalty to the German side by penning a new contract with them. Bayern reached the final of the Champions League and completed a domestic double with the French league and cup. Now Ribery is expected to step onto the World Stage and confirm his superstar status at South Africa 2010. As for coach Domenech, the World Cup will be his last action in charge of the nation, as Laurent Blanc has confirmed that he will be taking over after a successful period at club side Bordeaux. France, who looked hopelessly outplayed in a friendly against World Cup favourites Spain in March, continue their preparations on Wednesday with an international friendly against Costa Rica.

France Pre World Cup Schedule

May 26th France v Costa Rica
May 30th Tunisia v France
June 4th France v China

France v Costa Rica Betting

France to win: 3/10 at Bet365
Draw: 4/1 at Coral
Costa Rica to win: 9/1 at Bet365

Current France 23 Man Squad

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Cedric Carrasso
Defenders: Bacary Sagna, Patrice Evra, William Gallas, Eric Abidal, Sebastien Squillaci, Marc Planus, Gael Clichy, Anthony Reveillere
Midfielders: Alou Diarra, Jeremy Toulalan, Florent Malouda, Yoann Gourcuff, Abou Diaby, Franck Ribery
Forwards: Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Sidney Govou, Djibril Cisse, Mathieu Valbuena
 




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