Paul Pogba ‘very likely’ starting France’s World Cup opener – Didier Deschamps

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Didier Deschamps said midfielder Paul Pogba, whose performances for France have been underwhelming during the recent friendlies, is “very likely” to start the World Cup opener against Australia.

Deschamps, speaking to TF1, said Pogba “responded very well to my concerns” in France’s 1-1 draw against the United States in Lyon on Saturday after he struggled in the 3-1 victory against Italy on June 1.

“There are very high expectations for him,” Deschamps said. “It’s normal, and when he does things well, he always has to do better. But, with all that Paul is able to do, it’s always about the team. That is what’s important to me.”

Deschamps also said Olivier Giroud should be fit for the game on June 16 after leaving the pitch with a bloodied forehead on Saturday.

Giroud has “a beautiful cut of six centimetres but he should be ready,” Deschamps said.