Soccer-France line up with three centre backs against Swiss

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - France Training - National Arena Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania - June 27, 2021 France coach Didier Deschamps during training REUTERS/Marko Djurica

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - World champions France have changed their approach and will play with three centre backs when they take on Switzerland in their European Championship last-16 clash on Monday.

Coach Didier Deschamps has made three changes to the team that drew 2-2 with Portugal in their last Group F match on Wednesday while the Swiss, who last played eight days ago when they beat Turkey to finish third in Group A, remain unchanged.

The French have added Clement Lenglet into the centre of defence alongside Presnel Kimpembe and Raphael Varane and preferred Adrien Rabiot on the left to Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard on the right to Jules Kounde.

Corentin Tolisso is the other player who drops to the bench for France, whose midfielder Ngolo Kante celebrates his 50th cap.

Switzerland, who have gone out in the last 16 at the last three major tournaments, have stuck with the lineup from last Sunday’s 3-1 win in Baku.

It means flying full back Kevin Mbabu, who was an option for coach Vladimir Petkovic, remains on the bench despite much speculation he could start.

For Petkovic, the match is his 77th in charge of the Swiss side, equalling the record of Karl Rappan, who had four spells in charge of the national team between 1937 and 1963.


France: Hugo Lloris (captain); Presnel Kimpembe, Raphael Varane, Clement Lenglet, Adrien Rabiot, Benjamin Pavard; Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante; Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema

Switzerland: Yann Sommer; Nico Elvedi, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez, Steven Zuber, Silvan Widmer; Remo Freuler, Granit Xhaka (captain), Xherdan Shaqiri; Breel Embolo, Haris Seferovic

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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