How France could bypass Paul Pogba

France's Olivier Giroud

After experiencing an up-and-down season with Manchester United, his second back at Old Trafford, midfielder Pogba is considered a pivotal member of Didier Deschamps' national side. Griezmann's ability to find space, make runs in behind the defence and score vital goals could be the difference between this being France's tournament and one that they would rather forget. All of those players are capable of making a telling impact and France's substitutes could end up being just as crucial as the starting XI.

And Petit has challenged him to repeat his match-winning performance that buried fierce rivals Manchester City at the Etihad in April.

He was booed off the pitch by his nation's fans during France's 3-1 win over the Italy in a friendly game earlier this month.

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"People have to remember he is only a holding midfield player and he has orders from the manager and to me a holding midfield player is there to protect the team and to defend first".

Pogba, additionally, was dispossessed more frequently per game (1.5) than Tolisso (0.5) and recorded more incidents of poor control per game (2.1) than his compatriot (0.5).

N'Golo Kante will also play in the French midfield, but the other spot is up for grabs between Blaise Matuidi of Juventus and Bayern Munich's Corentin Tolisso.

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It wasn't exactly the most impressive outing for France ahead of next week's opener.

Despite rumours that he is unhappy at United and is being chased by Real Madrid, Pogba is fully focussed on succeeding with France at the World Cup.

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