Didier Deschamps will announce his first post-EURO 2016 French squad today to face Italy in a friendly next week and to compete in France’s first World Cup 2018 Qualifier against Belarus.
GFFN takes a look at what the squad is likely to look like.
National team captain Hugo Lloris will miss out with a hamstring injury, but Deschamps is set to maintain confidence in established number two Steve Mandanda, despite the fact that the former Marseille man has yet to establish himself as Crystal Palace’s number one goalkeeper.
Mandanda will be joined by Benoît Costil, who was France’s number 3 at EURO 2016. The final spot will go to either Alphonse Areola (PSG) or Stéphane Ruffier (St Étienne). The former player has perhaps more of a chance of nabbing that final spot due to the recent frosty nature of the relationship between Deschamps and Ruffier.
At right-back, both Bacary Sagna and Christophe Jallet have fitness concerns, which opens the door to both Djibril Sidibé & Sébastien Corchia, with the former in pole position having already been called up to the EURO 2016 reserves this summer.
At centre-back, Samuel Umtiti, Laurent Koscielny and even Adil Rami are expected to receive a call-up, with Raphaël Varane returning to replace Eliaquim Mangala, who has been without consistent first team football for too long a period of time, in Didier Deschamps’s eyes.
In the other full-back position, Patrice Evra is expected to continue his father-like role in the squad, but it is a straight shootout between Lucas Digne and Layvin Kurzawa for the other slot.
Again, expect the “change with continuity” philosophy from Deschamps here. Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi, Ngolo Kanté and yes Moussa Sissoko are all widely expected to receive a call-up. The final two spots will be played out by four individuals: Adrien Rabiot, Lassana Diarra, Yohan Cabaye and Morgan Schneiderlin.
Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet should all receive call-ups despite slight match fitness issues. Anthony Martial & André Pierre Gignac are less certain to make the squad, but barring a radical overhaul, should be there. The final place in the squad has been opened up by the Kingsley Coman injury. Alexandre Lacazette is in pole position to adopt that place, but don’t rule out Hatem Ben Arfa or even Nabil Fékir.
Goalkeepers: Steve Mandanda (Crystal Palace), Benoit Costil (Rennes), Alphonse Areola (PSG)
Defenders: Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Adil Rami (Sevilla), Layvin Kurzawa (PSG), Patrice Evra (Juventus)
Midfielders: Ngolo Kante (Chelsea FC), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Lassana Diarra (Olympique de Marseille), Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace)
Attackers: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), André Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Dimitri Payet (West Ham United)