Paul Pogba, Les Bleus hitting their stride in Russia

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Editorial (June 22, 2018) – France are two games into their 2018 World Cup campaign. Unlike the other favorites in this tournament, they have two wins and six points. It hasn’t been perfect, but Paul Pogba and Les Bleus are rounding into form.

Paul Pogba, Les Bleus hitting their stride in Russia

France opened up with a 2-1 win over Australia. The performance was decent and they did benefit from a few correctly called VAR reviews. Yesterday, they defeated Peru, a World Cup debutant, 1-0 on a goal from Kylian Mbappe.

Peru played some good football in the match, creating a few chances and forcing goalkeeper Hugo Lloris into a good performance with several good saves. France managed the result well and created a number of quality shots.

The finishing could have been a lot better given that they only scored one goal and only have three goals in their first two games, one from a penalty kick against Australia.

That said, almost every contender in this World Cup has dropped points. Germany and Columbia lost their opening matches. Argentina have just one point from two games and are at risk of not making it to the knockout rounds. Brazil got a draw in their opening game and there are doubts about Neymar’s health.

England and Belgium have taken maximum points, but aren’t in the conversation as contenders as much as France and others.

For me, France always seemed like a boom-or-bust nation at this World Cup. They’ll either find a way to not make it out of the group, get spectacularly upset in the Round of 16, or they’ll make it to the semifinals with a decent shot at winning it.

Given where the rest of the usual powers are, it looks like it could be the latter for [player] and France. They’ve created lots of chances in the two games they’ve played and managed the results well in the final 20 minutes up a goal.

The stars for France have shown up in particular. Pogba has done well on both sides of the ball and has been an excellent passer in the final third. He has created chances for himself and others, including an excellent pass that set up the goal against Peru. Antoine Griezmann and Mbappe have also looked good. Mbappe made history yesterday, becoming the youngest player to score in a major tournament for the country.

France takes on Denmark on Tuesday. They can clinch the top spot in Group C with a win or a draw, regardless of the result of the Peru and Australia match.

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