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07-Sep-2020, 11:30 pm

Deschamps has ‘no doubts’ over Griezmann form and says Mbappe available to face Croatia

Antoine Griezmann, France

France head coach Didier Deschamps has backed Antoine Griezmann to bounce back from a disappointing performance in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Sweden.

The Barcelona forward looked off colour during that fixture, which was capped by a dreadful late penalty that sailed over the bar.

In the event, it did not matter as Kylian Mbappe’s solo strike proved sufficient to grant the world champions the win in their Nations League opener, but it raised alarm bells over the forward Atletico Madrid man, who struggled to find his best form with Barcelona last season.

Deschamps, though, has backed the 29-year-old to rediscover his best form.

“I have no doubts about him,” the coach said. “He knows he didn't play his best game, but he's able to play again on Tuesday. I remember in November his first game was far from the best, but he had a very good second game. I will make the decision that I think is the best for the team and for him.”

Captain Hugo Lloris also backed the attacker.

“When we win, we take it with a smile,” he said when asked to respond to the statistic that the World Cup winner has missed his last three penalties. “Maybe he has a lack of confidence in this part of the game, but the last major penalties he took, he put them to the net. This does not call into question the importance and influence of Antoine in this team.”

Meanwhile, Deschamps has confirmed that Paris Saint-Germain stars Mbappe and Presnel Kimpembe are both available, despite their club side slated to play a Ligue 1 match away in Lens on Thursday – just 48 hours after the international clash.

“Kimpembe and Mbappe can play tomorrow. They know it, I know it, we have a game to play,” the coach confirmed. “All 23 players are available, Kim and Kylian too.

“I am not in the place that the clubs are. We have an international match and we will do everything to win it, even if in the analysis I take different things into account.”

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