Moussa Sissoko has been strongly tipped by north east media to start for his country on Sunday night but according to coverage in France, this is well wide of the mark.
France made sure of reaching the group stages when beating Albania 2-0 on Wednesday, standing top of the group on six points.
Tomorrow they play Switzerland who currently stand two points behind, so defeat for France would leave them second and the Swiss top of the group.
The media in France think the three subs who came off the bench on Wednesday (Pogba, Griezmann and Gignac) are all likely starts but Didier Deschamps won’t risk going further down the food chain, just for the sake of giving players such as Moussa Sissoko a game.
The biggest reason is that if a weakened side helped bring about a Switzerland win, it would mean there is every chance of France meeting Germany in the first knockout round.
The team that finishes second in Group A (France, Switzerland or Romania) will play the team that ends up second in Group C (Germany, Poland or Northern Ireland). Germany’s failure to beat Poland in their last match means only one goal divides them in the race to top the group.
However, if France top Group A, they would the play one of the countries that would sneak through as a third placed finisher, almost guaranteed to be one of the weaker teams.
So far Moussa Sissoko has been limited to only three minutes of Euros action as a sub in injury time against Romania and it is now over a year since he started a game for France.
In that time France have played 13 matches without him starting and it makes Moussa Sissoko’s most recent interview look all the more ludicrous.
Declaring that he had to leave Newcastle United or else it would harm his club and international career, Sissoko declared ‘I aspire to play for the biggest clubs in Europe and continue to be in the France team’.
The reality of course being that neither thing is happening or going to happen due to his poor to average form of the last year and beyond, form which saw Didier Deschamps turn his back on him and pushed Moussa Sissoko to the very fringes of the French squad.
Moussa Sissoko speaking before the Euros:
“I aspire to play for the biggest clubs in Europe and continue to be in the France team. I think he (Rafa Benitez) understands. Today, if I play in the Championship, I forget about the France team and many other things.
“I have already had a discussion with him. My representative will have a discussion with him. I think he knows what I want, where I want to go. So I hope there will be no problem for me to find my happiness at another club.”