Lacazette earns France recall as Deschamps preserves Evra

The coach has made only a couple of changes to the side that travelled to Brazil in the summer, with the Lyon forward replacing Olivier Giroud in his 23-man panel
France coach Didier Deschamps has resisted the urge to experiment too greatly in his side’s forthcoming friendlies against Serbia and Spain but has offered Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette a recall to the side while preserving 33-year-old Patrice Evra.

The former Juventus and Marseille boss has named a 23-man panel for the two encounters next month, which also includes Steve Mandanda, who missed out on the World Cup due to a neck problem.

Deschamps has not used the World Cup as a watershed moment for veteran left-back Evra, as he feels the ex-Monaco star could still be available when Euro 2016 comes around.

“Evra was competitive during the World Cup,” the coach explained. “After eight years with Manchester United he is with Juventus, so I’m not the only one who thinks he remains competitive.

“No one can know what level he will be at in two years’ time. But I can bring in other players to that post if I need to.”

Deschamps has decided to stick closely to the side that travelled to the World Cup in the summer, with only two alterations made. Lacazette is in for the injured Olivier Giroud, while Mandanda takes the place of the retired Mickael Landreau.

Franck Ribery and Eric Abidal have both announced their decision to quit the international game recently, while Samir Nasri had previously ruled himself out of selection.

Goalkeepers: Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Ruffier (Saint-Etienne)

Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal), Lucas Digne (PSG), Patrice Evra (Juventus), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (PSG), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle)

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Remy Cabella (Newcastle), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), Loic Remy (QPR), Mathieu Valbuena (Dinamo Moscow)