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Well-backed France are the team of the future

French fancied to go well at 2018 World Cup in Russia

Kylian Mbappe made his French debut in Luxembourg
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It was Alan Hansen's infamous opinion in 1995 that "you never win anything with kids," before Manchester United's novices dominated English football, and some early-bird punters are eagerly looking to disprove that theory again.

France take on Luxembourg in a World Cup 2018 qualifier on Saturday with more focus on them than usual. Their talented crop of youngsters are beginning to blossom as they take another step towards their aim of being crowned champions in Russia next year.

France's odds to rule the world have taken more tumbles than Jamie Vardy in recent days with Betfair slashing their 11-1 to 8-1, while a number of other firms also saw fit to chop Les Bleus, who are joint-second favourites with Brazil behind 11-2 shots Germany.

Rarely does much time pass without at least one country stumbling upon a supposed golden generation at international level. What usually follows is hype, disappointment and a root-and-branch investigation into where it all went wrong.

However, this could be different and France coach Didier Deschamps has embraced the new world with 14 of his 24-man squad in single-figure digits for caps won.

Seven are uncapped and one of those, 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe, is the talk of the footballing world after a magnificent breakthrough season with Monaco that has seen him score 13 goals in 12 outings since the start of February.

The scary prospect is that Mbappe may not even be the best of the teenage bunch given the impression made by Ousmane Dembele at Borussia Dortmund this season.

French newspaper L'Equipe picked a team for Deschamps made up only of players aged under 25 and claimed their transfer value was in excess of £500m.

Alphonse Areola (PSG) was the keeper and the across the back it was Djibril Sidibie (Monaco), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona) and Layvin Kurzawa (PSG). The midfield was Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Adrien Rabiot (PSG), Paul Pogba (Manchester United) and Dembele (Dortmund) with Mbappe (Monaco) up front alongside Anthony Martial (United).

That's not even the end of the young talent with Monaco trio Thomas Lemar, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy selected by Deschamps for this squad alongside Lyon's 22-year-old Corentin Tolisso, who is reportedly on the verge of joining Juventus.

Forwards Karim Benzema, Nabil Fekier and Alexandre Lacazette are not selected but it doesn't seem to be a problem with Euro 2016's best player Antoine Griezmann leading the line.

N'Golo Kante's influence on Premier League champions Leicester and then champions-elect Chelsea is obvious, while skipper Hugo Lloris is a calming influence between the sticks.

Deschamps has got rid of the deadwood that made it into the French squad for Euro 2016 with Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Eliaquim Mangala, Bacaray Sagna and Patrice Evra kicked to the kerb, which has done little to curb enthusiasm in just how fancy this French team could become.

European football journalist Andy Brassell believes Les Bleus could overtake Germany before next summer as market leaders.

"France could start as favourites," he said. "The talent at their disposal is enormous and players such as Pogba and Griezmann have great experience for their age.

"Regenerating the defence is my biggest concern - Deschamps has not been quick enough to integrate centre-backs such as Aymeric Laporte of Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid's Luis Hernandez."

Deschamps has so many options that in a strange way it makes his job tougher, but it sure is a nice problem to have and as billionaire investor Warren Buffett said: "I've made a lot of dumb decisions, that's part of the game." 

French backers will be hoping this is not a dumb choice and that you can win with kids.

The French outright odds have taken more tumbles than Jamie Vardy in recent days with Betfair slashing their 11-1 to 8-1
E.W. Terms
Sky bet