France – Iceland: World Champions Look Much Improved In Possession And Play Iceland Off The Park (4-0)
In a very one-sided affair, France completely dominated the game and produced a brilliant performance to beat Iceland 4-0 in Stade de France. Iceland parked the bus and managed to keep a one-goal margin until the late stages, but France was never really threatened here and completely outclassed their opponents. Having not impressed in possession against underdogs even during their World Cup triumph, France showed significant improvements here with some excellent movement and passing in the final third.
Tactical analysis and match report by Cem Soylu.
Manager Didier Deschamps has been keen on playing his World Cup winning side together as much as possible. Everybody who kept a close eye on France this summer in Russia could have largely drawn up the starting lineup. The only exception was Layvin Kurzawa, who filled in at left back for the injured Lucas Hernández.
Erik Hamrén did quite the opposite, as he ditched the 4-4-2 / 4-4-1-1 formation that has been heavily accustomed with Iceland, opting to switch to a 5-3-2 shape in order to defend deep against France. This was interesting, since Iceland delivered a very good display in a friendly against France recently in October, using a 4-4-1-1 formation. In that match, Iceland had the better chances and a two-goal lead, before a late France comeback produced a 2-2 scoreline. Perhaps the dire Nations League campaign, along with an injury for one of their most creative players - Jóhann Berg Gudmundsson - led Hamrén to test a new formation.
Formations when France had possession. Kylian Mbappé drifted around when France were attacking, often . . .