Without the goal machine Marie-Antoinette Katoto who left the Euros injured, France must adjust its attack mechanics without an obvious alternative emerging before Iceland, Monday (9:00 p.m.), in a last match band used as a dress rehearsal before shifts.
The qualification for the European Top-8 should take place during the final meeting of the first round, but the Blue ones must digest the immeasurable loss of « MAK », their offensive weapon N.1, returned home with a loose knee .
The statistical lines do not say everything, of course. However, they provide an overview of what the center forward of Paris SG brings to the selection, with his 26 goals in 32 caps, including 16 in 15 appearances this season.
Since the start of the 2021-2022 financial year, the Katoto-dependence has been affected by a tenure in each match.
The coach must now compose without her N.9, a serial-scorer and a precious fixation point, as much to tire the opposing defenses as to open breaches to her partners.
The France team still has several cartridges. The first of them, Ouleymata Sarr, was thrown into the deep end on Thursday against Belgium (2-1), replacing her injured teammate.
The Paris FC striker a product « a lot of efforts » the corn was « Less lucid » in front of goal, she admitted. « By doing the maximum on the field, I will be rewarded », she launched to the journalists.
Source tactical strategy?
The day before, it was Melvine Malard who had occupied the position of center forward in the team of usual holders during the opposition against the substitutes, reports the daily L’Equipe.
At 22, the Reunionese presented a very useful versatile attacking profile: the right, used in the left lane in Lyon, helped out at the peak during the long absence due to injury of the star center forward of OL, Ada Hegerberg.
With Sarr or Malard, the coach saves herself a tactical recomposition since one or the other replaces Katoto position for position. On the other hand, it would be the case if by chance she came to install Kadidiatou Diani in the axis.
The right lane blaster has occupied this spot before. This option would force Deacon to review his plans on the sides.
Corinne Deacon: « Marie-Antoinette Katoto asked us to go all the way »
Marie-Antoinette Katoto, whose package was recorded on Friday, « We asked to continue to make the effort and above all to go to the end » by winning the Euro, coach Corinne Deacon confirmed on the eve of the last group match, Monday against Iceland.
Corinne Deacon (coach of the France team): “What was difficult is that we momentarily celebrated our qualification and our first place but, the next morning, we were a little less happy. We quickly moved on to something else at the request of Marie-Antoinette (Katoto) who asked us to continue to make the effort and above all it is worth going to the end, for this group that gets it. Even if tomorrow’s match (Monday) doesn’t count for qualification or for first place, we want to stay on a winning streak, we want to continue to keep the confidence we have. »
Who for the replacement?
I’m going to put Wendie in front but she doesn’t know it yet (laughs). There are plenty of options but you know me, I keep telling you nothing. (…) I have real top strikers and Kadi (Diani) is really satisfying on her right wing. When we had chosen the 23 players, we had doubled the positions so it is logical that the player who was the second attacker started. »
« Winning Whatever Eleven »
Deacon: “I made two changes between the first two matches, our starters were not the same. There are girls who start, others who come into play. All players can start, that’s why we chose these players with my staff. The idea is to win whatever +eleven+ you field. »
“Adapt” to high heat
Wendie Renard (Captain): “For a West Indian, I’ve known worse! We are lucky to play a little late, there are matches at 5:00 p.m. (English time) or it is difficult. I count on UEFA to organize breaks to be able to drink. To see good (Site notre bureau spécialisé), it’s important to allow the players to hydrate. Thanks to the staff, everything is done to give the best of themselves, but we will have to adapt. »