Who are France's best players? Key World Cup 2022 performers to watch in knockout rounds

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Equipe de France Coupe du monde 2022 Kylian Mbappé
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As expected, Les Bleus find themselves at the knockout stage of the World Cup. GOAL takes a look at their key players.

France progressed to the 2022 World Cup knockouts by virtue of topping Group D.

Les Bleus are the defending champions and head coach Didier Deschamps will hope that his troops can become the third nation to win successive championships after Italy (1934, 1938) and Brazil (1958, 1962).

Les Bleus dispatched Australia 4-1 in their opener, edged out Denmark courtesy of a brace from Kylian Mbappe, but went down to Tunisia on matchday three.

GOAL takes a look at the best France players at Qatar 2022.

  1. Kylian Mbappe | PSG | FW

    Kylian Mbappe | PSG | FW

    Mbappe is undoubtedly their key player. He has already impressed at the tournament with three strikes to his name and will be looking to add more to his tally against Poland.

    The Paris Saint-Germain forward was the difference-maker against Denmark as he single-handedly steered Les Bleus to the three points.

    He has had nine more shots (16) and five more shots on target (7) than any other France player at the 2022 World Cup, which shows his importance to the squad.

  2. Antoine Griezmann | Atletico Madrid | FW

    Antoine Griezmann | Atletico Madrid | FW

    Antoine Griezmann provides the creative spark in this French team playing in a typical number 10 role. He pulls apart defences and has the calibre to make those incisive passes in the attacking third.

    He has created more chances than any other France player at the 2022 World Cup (11). Indeed, the only player to create 10+ in either of the last two World Cup tournaments for France has been Griezmann, while he’s already surpassed his total from 2018 when Les Bleus lifted the trophy (10).

  3. Olivier Giroud | AC Milan | FW

    Olivier Giroud | AC Milan | FW

    The AC Milan forward is ageing like fine wine. In the absence of Karim Benzema, Giroud has stepped up his game and scored twice against Australia. With that, he matched Thierry Henry's all-time international goalscoring record of 51, although Giroud has hit the number in nine fewer appearances than his counterpart.

    The 36-year-old forward offers France a focal point in the penalty box, has the ability to hold up the ball and can tee up his teammates which makes him lethal. He was integral to the team that lifted the World Cup in 2018 and remains important four years later.

  4. Adrien Rabiot | Juventus | MF
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    Adrien Rabiot | Juventus | MF

    The Juventus midfielder has always divided opinion but this season Adrien Rabiot has been in the form of his life. He has been thriving in Turin with some great displays and against Australia, he showed that he can contribute with his goals too as he headed home the equaliser.

    Rabiot then created the second after nicking possession and leaving Giroud with a simple tap-in. He could have scored against Australia as well but was denied by a defiant Kasper Schmeichel.

    Definitely one to watch against Poland.

  5. Dayot Upamecano | Bayern Munich | DF
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    Dayot Upamecano | Bayern Munich | DF

    The centre-back was rested against Tunisia but make no mistake, Dayot Upamecano is undoubtedly one of the first names on the France teamsheet.

    With Raphael Varane still struggling with injury, the Bayern Munich defender is the mainstay in the French defence. He has good strength and anticipation which should make his duel with Robert Lewandowski intriguing.

  6. Hugo Lloris | Tottenham Hotspur | GK

    Hugo Lloris | Tottenham Hotspur | GK

    France's last line of defence is the experienced Hugo Lloris. He is known to thrive under pressure and made a match-winning save to deny Jesper Lindstrom while the game against Denmark was tied at 1-1.

    Lloris likes to be in command inside the six-yard box and is known to claim crosses effectively to smother aerial danger. Let's not forget, that he could have a big role to play if the game goes to penalties.