Les Bleus will hand one new face a debut, but otherwise it seems to be business as usual amongst their ranks, though the inclusion of the Bayern Munich ace from the outset may raise a few eyebrows...Raymond Domenech treating France’s match against Spain in Paris this evening as a great experiment, with his strongest XI as far as possible ready to tackle la Furia Roja, according to L’Equipe.
In the squad expected to start the match for les Bleus, there will be one new face: that of Girondins de Bordeaux defender Michael Ciani, who has been included in the squad for the first time after a terrific season at club level. The centre-back is the benefactor of injuries to William Gallas and Sebastien Squillaci, who both failed to convene with the initial selection.
Additionally, Franck Ribery will be thrust back into the fold, despite returning relatively recently from injury problems for club side Bayern Munich. The Boulogne-Sur-Mer-born ace will be stationed on the right hand side of an attacking midfield trio, with Thierry Henry considered to be les Bleus’ automatic selection on the left. Nicolas Anelka will lead the attack on his own.
Domenech previously caused controversy by using Ribery in the Faroe Islands when Bayern claimed he was injured. Starting the winger in this encounter will likely do his relationship with FCB little good.
Aside from Barcelona ace Henry, there will be two other members of the starting XI hailing from Primera Division sides. Julien Escude of Sevilla is expected to start in the heart of the rearguard, while Lassana Diarra of Real Madrid will anchor the midfield alongside Jeremy Toulalan.
Kick off at the Stade de France is at 21:00CET.
Expected France team to face Spain: Lloris; Sagna, Ciani, Escude, Evra; L. Diarra, Toulalan; Ribery, Gourcuff, Henry; Anelka