Deschamps drops big names in 23 man provisional WC squad

Paola Ditto
Mag 18, 2018

The 11 standby players are Wissam Ben Yedder, Kingsley Coman, Benoit Costil, Mathieu Debuchy, Lucas Digne, Alexandre Lacazette, Anthony Martial, Adrien Rabiot, Mamadou Sakho, Moussa Sissoko and Kurt Zouma.

Arsenal striker Lacazette, who won six of his 13 France caps in 2017, has been named on Didier Deschamps' standby list, failing to make a 23-man squad that includes Olivier Giroud among seven forward options.

Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet also misses out.

Marseille star Payet limped out of Wednesday's Europa League final defeat by Atletico Madrid and doubts over his fitness for the trip to Russian Federation forced Deschamps' hand. "He played the first half-hour (against Atletico), but he aggravated his injury, and the recovery time needed for that type of injury is three weeks", Deschamps said after revealing his squad live on television station TF1's evening news programme.

Former Blackburn and Stoke midfielder Steven N'Zonzi is included, with the Sevilla player having made two France appearances, while former Newcastle forward Florian Thauvin and ex-Crystal Palace goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, who are both now at Marseille, also make the cut.

Antoine Griezmann will lead the attack, fresh from scoring twice for Atletico in the Europa League final.

Chelsea stars N'Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud, Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Manchester United ace Paul Pogba and Man City left-back Benjamin Mendy are all included.

Another player to miss out was Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny, who ruptured an Achilles tendon playing against Atletico in the Europa League semi-finals.

France have three warm-up games ahead of the World Cup - against the Republic of Ireland on May 28, Italy four days later and the United States on June 9.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema's global exile goes on - he has not played for France since October 2015 after being accused of involvement in a blackmail affair involving a sextape.

France have been drawn in Group C at the World Cup, meaning they will face Australia, Peru and Denmark.

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