The French national team has named the squad that would prosecute friendly games against Paraguay and England and their important clash against Sweden in a World Cup qualifier.
Coach Didier Deschamps named Alphonse Areole of PSG, Benot Costil of Rennes and Spurs top choice Hugo Lloris in goal. Lloris is the favourite to start after an impressive run for his club in the Premier League.
AS Monaco defender Benjamin Mendy make the defenders’ list alongside Kurt Zouma of Chelsea, Christophe Jallet of Lyon, and Samuel Umtiti of Barcelona. Recovering centre defender for Real Madrid Raphael Varane was included in defence, as with Presnel Kimpembe of PSG and Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal. Lucas Digne of Barcelona and Djibril Sidibe of Monaco were also named.
In the middle, PFA Player of the Year and France Player of the Year N’Golo Kante was named. World transfer record holder Paul Pogba would line up alongside Corentin Tolisso of Lyon, Moussa Sissoko of Tottenham, and PSG duo of Adrien Rabiot and Blaise Matuidi.
Antoine Griezmann is expected to lead the attack with help from teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe. Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud, Ousmane Dembele of Borussia Dortmund, Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, Dimitri Payet, Monaco’s Thomas Lemar and Florian Thauvin of Marseille were also included.
An obvious omission is Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema. The Real Madrid striker has been impressive in recent weeks. Madrid are eyeing a double: the La Liga and Champions League. Yet, Deschamps left out the player. The 48-year old coach said his decisions were based on “sporting factors.” He added that the team has solidified after their Euro 2016 campaign where they reached the final.
Benzema last week accused the coach of inconsistency and ignoring his hard work. France play the South Americans on June 2 then they play Sweden a week later. They are poised to host England at Saint Denis on June 13.