Friday night’s match against Belarus represents a new dawn for France, who have jettisoned unpopular coach Raymond Domenech and replaced him with Laurent Blanc following a miserable World Cup campaign in South Africa.
As a result of les Bleus’ total capitulation in the summer, only nine participants from the World Cup squad have been called into Laurent Blanc’s thinking, with Patrice Evra, Franck Ribery, Jeremy Toulalan and Nicolas Anelka all missing through bans imposed by the FFF (French FA) because of their behaviour in the summer.
Additionally, there are also injury problems that must be coped with. Karim Benzema is struggling with a knock, while Real Madrid club-mate Lassana Diarra has already been ruled out along with Lille’s Yohan Cabaye, who was called up as an injury replacement. Aly Cissokho’s hamstring problems have kept him out of the squad, while Anthony Reveillere and Blaise Matuidi have been added to the panel since it was first named.
Here is the available squad:
Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux)
Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Adil Rami (Lille), Philippe Mexes (AS Rome), Mamadou Sakho (Paris-SG), Benoit Tremoulinas (Bordeaux), Gael Clichy (Arsenal), Anthony Reveillere (Lyon)
Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille), Jeremy Menez (AS Rome), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Yann M'Vila (Rennes), Charles N'Zogbia (Wigan), Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Blaise Matuidi (Saint-Etienne)
Kevin Gameiro (Lorient), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Loic Remy (Marseille), Louis Saha (Everton), Guillaume Hoarau (Paris-SG)
Goal.com invites you to pick your team and pop it into the comments box below. Here is an example of how les Bleus may line-up:
Possible starting XI (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Sagna, Mexes, Rami, Clichy; Diaby, A. Diarra, M’Vila; Remy, Hoarau, Malouda
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