Previous
TSG Hoffenheim
Bayern Munich
0
2
FT
Game Details
Everton
Burnley
1
0
FT
Game Details
Stoke City
Southampton
2
1
FT
Game Details
Nice
Paris Saint-Germain
1
3
FT
Game Details
Barcelona
Valencia
2
0
FT
Game Details
Reading
Arsenal
0
1
LIVE HT
Game Details
Chelsea
Manchester United
1
0
LIVE 42'
Game Details
Real Madrid
Malaga
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Juventus
Lazio
BT Sport 1 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Colorado Rapids
Seattle Sounders FC
1:00 AM GMT Apr 19, 2015
Game Details
LA Galaxy
Sporting Kansas City
2:30 AM GMT Apr 19, 2015
Game Details
Next

Blatter against Israel player tampering

FIFA
Read

Marcotti meets Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein

FIFA
Read

Deschamps seeking perfect blend

France coach Didier Deschamps has revealed his strategy for forming his World Cup squad, and sent a warning to Eric Abidal the experienced defender needs to start playing again if he hopes to go to Brazil.

• Abidal told to explain Monaco absence
Laurens: The '1993 Generation'

Deschamps, 45, is currently considering his options with regard to the 23 players he will select to comprise his squad for this summer's World Cup, his first as France national team boss.

With more than 100 caps as a player, and 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 winner's medals, Deschamps has first-hand experience of the blend required for a nation to achieve ultimate victory in a major tournament. He told former international teammate Bixente Lizarazu a player's form is not necessarily a factor in earning a seat on the plane to South America.

Deschamps said: "To prepare a list for a final tournament is not merely taking the best players in each position. It's to make a squad able to go as far as possible in the competition. You need a good balance between experience and a little bit of youth, freshness and insouciance. I'm no longer thinking about current form. I'm more focused on the potential of players."

That could be good news for Abidal, 34, who has seen younger defenders such as Raphael Varane, Mamadou Sakho, Laurent Koscielny and Eliaquim Mangala challenge and even ease ahead of him in Deschamps' thinking.

However, though the Monaco defender has 67 caps and a vast array of silverware garnered in an illustrious career, the fact he is struggling to earn a regular starting place for his club, as well as his age, could cost him dear.

"The problem of Abidal is that he's not been active for a month. He had some serious medical concerns before, and he's got some again now, but the most important thing is that he's competitive and is on the pitch," Deschamps said of the former Barcelona man, who has featured in just one of Monaco's last seven league outings.

"All other things being equal, if I have the choice between an older and younger player, I'll go for the younger one looking at what comes after with Euro 2016. When I make a list for a final tournament, it's not like making a list for a friendly game. There are other, different criteria that come into consideration."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.