Didier Deschamps will announce his first France squad since the World Cup at 13:00 BST. Get French Football News has spoken to sources inside the camp in an attempt to piece together what the 23 man squad may look like.
In goal, we are not expecting anything radical from Didier Deschamps. After the retirement of Mickael Landreau, Steve Mandanda is expected to join Stephane Ruffier and Hugo Lloris as the third goalkeeper, having recovered from injury. Lloris’ long-term captaincy remains doubtful.
Next, Lucas Digne and Mathieu Debuchy are fully expected to line-up in defence. The issue for a lot of the other players is that they have not played many minutes at the start of this new season, and Didier Deschamps has historically used the amount of recent minutes as a sure-fire indicator for choosing his squad. Laurent Koscielny, Mamadou Sakho and Raphael Varane are regarded as solid enough pillars for them to be chosen, but Eliaquim Mangala’s place might be jeopardy. St Étienne central defender Loic Perrin could therefore get a call up or even Barcelona’s new signing Jeremy Mathieu. For the second left back, if Patrice Evra is not chosen then Didier Deschamps may choose Layvin Kurzawa, a player who is “very appreciated” according to sources close to the decision-makers. At right-back, Bacary Sagna is still expected to feature, mainly because there remains a lack of talent elsewhere in that sector of the pitch.
The core trio of Blaise Matuidi, Yohan Cabaye and Paul Pogba should all feature, despite serious worries from Didier Deschamps’ about Cabaye’s likely lack of game time this season with PSG. He will be rewarded for his World Cup exploits with another call up however. Moussa Sissoko, a firm favourite of Deschamps’, is expected to be joined by Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin. Serious doubts remain over Rio Mavuba, with many suggesting that this would be the logical period in time to faze the Lille captain out of the squad. Maxime Gonalons and Geoffrey Kondogbia are the closest to taking his place away.
Despite Mathieu Valbuena’s move to Russia, the player has been reassured by Didier Deschamps that this decision will have no bearing on his France national team future and that will be evident when the man is selected today by Deschamps. Loic Remy will double up on the right and on the left Antoine Griezmann will take a spot. Karim Benzema will of course be included, but otherwise the attack could see some new faces after the retirement of Franck Ribery and the long-term injury to Olivier Giroud. Alexandre Lacazette is expected to get a call up, but his place could still be taken by Andre-Pierre Gignac or even more surprisingly Bafétimbi Gomis. Remy Cabella should also be included as Griezmann’s understudy on the left.