Barcelona are the club with the highest representation at the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022, with as many as 17 players from the La Liga giants participating at the world event in Qatar.
One of those 17 stars involved is summer arrival Jules Kounde. The 23-year-old is part of the France National Team setup under Didier Deschamps.
Kounde did not start for the reigning world champions in their opening game against Australia. Instead, Deschamps preferred the pairing of Ibrahima Konate and Dayot Upamecano at centre-back while Benjamin Pavard started at right-back.
As a result, Kounde had to settle for a place on the bench and a late cameo appearance against the Socceroos.
But, according to a report from L’Equipe, Kounde is in line for a starting berth when France face Denmark in their second group match tomorrow.
The report indicates that instead of starting in his natural centre-back role, the Barcelona defender will line up as a right-back, at the expense of Pavard.
The Bayern Munich defender was far from his best against Australia, both in defence and attack. And it looks like he could be replaced by Kounde when France play Denmark.
Kounde is no stranger to playing as a right-sided full-back, having done so for France on numerous occasions in the past. The 23-year-old has also played at right-back for Barcelona several times since joining the club in the summer from Sevilla and has performed admirably in the role.
Now, he will be asked to do the job in the same position by Deschamps for the French team. Meanwhile, Kounde’s Barcelona teammate, Ousmane Dembele, is likely to retain his spot in the starting XI for the world champions.
Les Bleus began their World Cup campaign with a resounding 4-1 win over Australia and will be gunning for another win against Denmark to seal a spot in the knockout stages of the competition.