When France plays Tunisia in their final Group D game on Wednesday, they will have to strike the correct balance between resting players and maintaining their World Cup momentum.
The defending champions qualified for the knockout rounds with a game to spare after beating Australia 4-1 and Denmark 2-1, and a draw with Tunisia would guarantee them first place.
If they win, they will face the team that finished second in Group C, which includes Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Poland, and Mexico.
Coach Didier Deschamps plans to rest some of his important players and offer minutes to fringe players at Education City Stadium.
Steve Mandanda is expected to start in goal, and Deschamps may want to give Jules Kounde some time to acclimate to the right back position after replacing the underwhelming Benjamin Pavard in the Denmark game.
Deschamps’ most important choice will be whether or not to deploy Raphael Varane. For the second game, the center defender returned from a hamstring injury and was replaced in the second half.