A few major names went missing as Didier Deschamps named his preliminary 23-man squad to represent France at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. A bunch of key players had to face the axe for reasons still known only to Deschamps. Anthony Martial, Adrien Rabiot, Dimitri Payet, Alexandre Lacazette, Laurent Koscielny, Layvin Kurzawa, Wissam Bin Yedder, and Kinslay Coman have all failed to make it to the preliminary squad. The biggest surprise was the exclusion of 22-year-old Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, as he was a pretty much regular feature in France’s lineup of late. PSG’s star midfielder Adrien Rabiot’s exclusion too deserves some explanation from the coach. The names included making the exclusions more surprising as the likes of Benjamin Pavard and Adil Rami were picked up over Kurzawa, Koscielny, and Sakho. There is gonna be an added pressure on Didier Deschamps as a failure of his squad will most likely draw some heavy criticism.
Deschamps will be bolting his hopes on the three friendlies France are scheduled to play before the start of 2018 FIFA World Cup. They first take on the Republic Of Ireland on 28th May, followed by a home game against Italy on June 1 and the last game against the United States on 9th June before flying off to Russia. They have been clubbed in Group C where they will first play in Australia on 16th June, followed by Peru on 21st June and Denmark on 26th June. Thankfully for Deschamps, the group doesn’t look to him a very tricky one with Denmark being the only team that seems to pose a significant challenge for them.
France Squad For FIFA World Cup 2018
Despite so many big names missing out, France still looks strong enough to be considered as potential contenders for the title. The goalkeeping duties will be taken care of by Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris, who is expected to captain the side as well. The defence is likely going to have Mendy, Varane, Umtiti, and Sidibe/Rami with N’Golo Kante playing the role of a DMF. The Midfield with sees Pogba pairing up with either of Tolisso or Matuidi.
The front line looks to be the strongest half of their lineup with Antoinne Griezmann leading the pack of Giroud, Mbappe, Fekir, and Dembele. Deschamps will have to play an attacking formation as he doesn’t have a long list of midfielders to choose from. All the big names missing from the 23-man squad find themselves in a separate 11-man backup list. If Deschamps’ first choice fails by any means, he won’t have to think twice before turning up to his backups. Here is how the full squad looks like along with the 11-man backups list.
France Team Lineups
Here is the provisional list of France World Cup team list officially announced this last week.
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur/England)
Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)
Djibril Sidibe (Monaco)
Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart/Germany)
Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona/Spain)
Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/Spain)
Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Adil Rami (Marseille)
Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City/England)
Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid/Spain)
Paul Pogba (Manchester United/England)
Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich/Germany)
Blaise Matuidi (Juventus/Italy)
Ngolo Kante (Chelsea/England)
Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla/Spain)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/Spain)
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea/England)
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona/Spain)
Florian Thauvin (Marseille)
Nabil Fekir (Lyon)
Thomas Lemar (Monaco)
Check out Egypt World Cup Squad with full players list here.