Giroud returns to France squad after injury

Paris, Nov 4 (IANS) Didier Deschamps has recalled Olivier Giroud into the French squad for next week’s World Cup qualifying match hosting Sweden and an international friendly with Cote d’Ivoire.

The Arsenal striker missed France’s last World Cup qualifier visiting the Netherlands on October 10 due to a toe injury. He’s back to fitness and scored twice in his club’s English Premiership match at Sunderland, reports Xinhua.

Anthony Martial, however, was dropped on Thursday as France play Sweden at the Stade de France next Friday before the Cote d’Ivoire friendly four days later, though seven players based in England were called up.

“His club coach expects more from him and so do I,” Deschamps warned the 20-year-old Manchester United forward who’s under Jose Mourinho in the English Premier League.

“I have not forgotten what he has done or what he is capable of doing, but it’s up to him to make efforts to find his best form,” Deschamps added.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is still missing from the national squad, after being suspected of involvement in an alleged attempt to blackmail Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.

France are now with seven points from three games, tying with Group A leaders Sweden on points in the 2018 World Cup European zone qualifying tournament.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain, France), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham, England), Steve Mandanda (Crystal Palace, England).

Defenders: Sebastien Corchia (Lille, France), Lucas Digne (FC Barcelona, Spain), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal, England), Layvin Kurzawa (Paris Saint-Germain, France), Adil Rami (Seville, Spain), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco, France), Samuel Umtiti (FC Barcelona, Spain), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid, Spain).

Midfielders: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea, England), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain, France), Dimitri Payet (West Ham United, England), Paul Pogba (Manchester United, England), Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain, France), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham, England).

Forwards: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich, Germany), Ousmane Dembele (Dortmund, Germany), Nabil Fekir (Lyon, France), Kevin Gameiro (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal, England), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid, Spain).

–IANS

ajb/dg

Top