Le Bleus get 'timely warning'

FRANCE coach Didier Deschamps has said that Friday's 2-3 home defeat by Colombia in a friendly game served as a timely warning for Les Bleus.

FRANCE coach Didier Deschamps has said that Friday’s 2-3 home defeat by Colombia in a friendly game served as a timely warning for Les Bleus, less than three months before the World Cup in Russia.

France appeared to have the match under control as it opened up a 2-0 lead inside 26 minutes at the Stade de France but then completely lost its way, conceding three goals to lose the match.

Deschamps said that he addressed his players after the game in the dressing room.

“I felt the players did not meet the requirements of high level football,” he told French TV channel TF1 yesterday.

“I said what I had to say. I spoke about what I really didn’t like. My squad listen to me but sometimes they can slip like it happened against Colombia.

“This defeat should act as a reminder.”

France has the opportunity to recover from that disappointment when it meets World Cup host Russia in St Petersburg tomorrow.

It might be without fullback Lucas Digne, who picked up an injury on Friday. “He has a muscle problem but nothing serious,” said Deschamps.

Meanwhile, Germany winger Leroy Sane said yesterday that Brazil is one of the favorites for the 2018 World Cup, but injury to superstar Neymar still weakens the ‘Selecao’.

“Brazil aren’t as dependent on Neymar as they were in 2014,” said Manchester City’s Sane.

“They are better positioned and have a few new stars, but it still makes a big difference whether Neymar plays or not.”

Germany hosts Brazil in a mouth-watering friendly at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium tomorrow as part of both teams’ build-up to June’s World Cup.

It will be their first meeting since the Germans stunned Brazil with five goals inside half an hour in a 7-1 romp in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup.

Just as back then, Brazil forward Neymar is sidelined by injury. This time the world’s most expensive player is recovering from foot surgery.

He is expected to be fit in time for the World Cup, which kicks off on June 14.

Brazil beat Russia 3-0 on Friday with three goals in 13 minutes by Miranda, Paulinho and a Philippe Coutinho penalty at Luzhniki Stadium, which hosts the World Cup final on July 15.

Germany warmed up with a 1-1 draw with Spain in Duesseldorf as Rodrigo Moreno’s early goal for the visitors was cancelled out by Thomas Mueller’s first-half strike.

Special Reports