France didn’t had to struggle that much against Honduras (won 3-0). They started the game in force and hit crossbar twice even before Honduras had the chance to build a proper action.
Many players took part in the offensive phase, from fullbacks Evra and Debuchy who engaged in fast actions with wingers Griezmann and Valbuena, to central midfielders Matuidi, Pogba and Cabaye who delivered many dangerous balls for striker Benzema. Although quite young (only 21) midfielder Pogba proved he’s got enough experience to irritate opponents and provoke their elimination. Honduras’ key midfielder Palacios was eliminated after 2 yellow cards following contacts with midfielder Pogba. After the red card the game became a simple formality for France.
The only offensive player with a somewhat disappointing performance was winger Valbuena. He looked a bit hesitant as his passes, both from set pieces and actions, were miles away from the target.
France’s defensive players didn’t need any tackling skills, instead the ability to close down ranks was enough against Honduras who couldn’t find any open spaces to exploit.
Most probably France will start in the same formula, the only change could be forward Giroud substituting Valbuena earlier (it happened in minute 78 against Honduras), if the latter won’t improve his performance.
Switzerland looked very shy against Ecuador (won 2-1), especially in the first half when they conceded early after a childish marking mistakes. Till the end of the first half Switzerland’s efforts to get back in the game were laughable, as they relied only on long balls thrown inside the box and long range attempts.
Even if in the second half the Swiss managed to make a comeback and win 2-1 they were far from impressive. Players in the defensive phase were slow and easily tricked by a simple line change, while upfront they barely had two actions relaying on short and direct passes and through balls inside the penalty box.
Both of Switzerland’s goals were scored by substitutes, confirming the impression left, namely that Switzerland is a slow, tired and uninspired team.
France -0.75 at 1.99