Group H played host to arguably the most interesting game in this round of UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers with France taking on Turkey at the Stade de France. Both sides are locked at the top of the group with nothing to separate them. Turkey’s victory against Les Bleus earlier in the campaign meant the World Cup holders were out for revenge.
The atmosphere was vibrant and the stage was set, however, Turkey held on to earn themselves a 1-1 draw, seeing them avoid defeat and stay in contention for that golden top spot.
In this tactical analysis, we look at the tactics deployed by Didier Deschamps, which should have won France the game. We also provide an analysis of the tactical tweaks made by the visitors which frustrated the boys in blue.
The home side opted for a 4-2-3-1 system, using Blaise Matuidi and Corentin Tolisso as the double pivot in the base of midfield. No Paul Pogba, Hugo Lloris or Kylian Mbappé meant Deschamps had to reshuffle his squad. Moussa Sissoko occupied the wide right position, drifting infield to open the passing lane to the full-back Benjamin Pavard, who in typical fashion ventured forward at will. On the other side, Lucas Hernández started as the left-back, linking promisingly with Kingsley Coman who tantalised his full-back with clever movement into the half-spaces which we look at later. Wissam Ben Yedder got the nod upfront as the lone striker where he struggled to make an impact on the game.
Turkey started the game in a defensive 4-5-1/4-1-4-1 shape. Okay Yokuşlu started in the holding role, looking to reduce the spaces available to his direct opponent – Antoine Griezmann. Şenol Güneş, who has seen his side win eight of the previous nine, implemented a rigid system that saw Mahmut Tekdemir and Ozan Tufan in the centre of midfield, patrolling the spaces in a deeper block, restricting the spaces for France to play through. Burak Yılmaz was deployed as the lone striker, with Hakan Çalhanoğlu starting on the bench.
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