June 20, 2018 / 3:47 PM / 3 months ago

Griezmann passed fit as France seek sharper edge

YEKATERINBURG, Russia (Reuters) - French striker Antoine Griezmann has been passed fit for Thursday’s World Cup Group C match with Peru as coach Didier Deschamps seeks to give his side a sharper attacking edge.

Soccer Football - World Cup - France Training - Ekaterinburg Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia - June 20, 2018 France's Antoine Griezmann during training REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

France, among the tournament favourites, opened with a sluggish 2-1 win over Australia.

“What we can see is that there were elements that were lacking and we did have difficulties at the front. That is very clear, and I did say so at the end of the match,” Deschamps told reporters on the eve of the game in Yekaterinburg.

“The aim here is to make sure we do better tomorrow.”

Deschamps said Griezmann, who opened the scoring with a penalty against Australia, was fully fit.

“He’s well. There was a little concern with one of his ankles, which was a little bit swollen after the match. He wasn’t at this best during the match, he had heavy legs,” said the coach.

Dynamic midfielder N’Golo Kante also struggled in the first game: “This meant we weren’t able to have enough dynamism in attack, and not enough efficiency.”

Deschamps did not rule out starting with Olivier Giroud, even if his comments on the striker were ambivalent.

“The problem with Olivier is very often when he plays, he plays in his own register, he’s not in the same register as the others. But when he’s not there, we realise how useful he is,” Deschamps said.

The 49-year-old, a member of France’s 1998 World Cup winning team, said Peru should not be underestimated.

“They have excellent players up front, they have some very fast players,” he said, singling out Paolo Guerrero and Jefferson Farfan.

Reporting by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Tony Lawrence

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