While many France fans will be disappointed that Hugo Lloris’s recent injury will keep him out of the upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Denmark, opportunity knocks for Olympique Marseille’s Steve Mandanda.
The OM No. 1 has been Lloris’s long-term understudy for the national side but is likely to be called upon to replace the Tottenham Hotspur for Les Bleus’ high-profile friendly encounter with Brazil.
However, if France coach Didier Deschamps had kept an eye on Marseille’s crushing 4-0 victory over Lens, he will be be confident that the imposing keeper will be not let the side down against the Selecao.
Mandanda made an excellent save from Yoann Touzghar towards the end of the first half, and took the pressure off his defence whenever the Red and Gold threatened after that.
Also impressive, particularly, one imagines, in the eyes of Marcelo Bielsa, was Mandanda’s play with the ball on the ground. His first touch was excellent and his distribution was impressive…unfortunately, the same cannot be said for his error-prone counterpart.