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MBAPPÉ IN, DEMBÉLÉ OUT

France coach Didier Deschamps has included 11 France-based players – including Kylian Mbappé – in his squad for Les Bleus’ upcoming World Cup 2018 qualifiers against the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Despite the fact that Kylian Mbappé has sat out the first few weeks of the Ligue 1 Conforama season as a potential move to Paris Saint-Germain is worked out, AS Monaco’s teenage sensation has been recalled by France boss Didier Deschamps for the World Cup 2018 qualifiers.

The same cannot be said for Mbappé’s fellow young gun Ousmane Dembélé, however, as the Borussia Dortmund speedster has missed out on much of his club’s pre-season as he angles for a switch to Barcelona and is thus not match fit in Deschamps’s eyes.

Gunners duo to duke it out?

Up front, Arsenal pair Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud will be in direct competition for the lone striker role should Deschamps choose to take on the Netherlands or Luxembourg with his usual 4-2-3-1 formation. However, Deschamps made it clear in his press conference that he could also field a 4-4-2 formation, with two strikers, or a 4-3-3.

Paris Saint-Germain left-back Layvin Kurzawa, fresh from a stunning scissor-kick volley in his side’s 6-2 Ligue 1 Conforama win over Toulouse, returns to the squad at the expense of injured Chelsea man Kurt Zouma while Blaise Matuidi keeps his place in midfield despite switching clubs from Paris Saint-Germain to Juventus in the last week.

The clash with the Netherlands will take place at the Stade de France in Paris at 20:45 on Friday, August 31, while the match against Luxembourg will be held at 20:45 at The Stadium in Toulouse on Sunday, September 3.

The full squad:

‘Keepers: Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Alphonse Aréola

Defenders: Djibril Sidibé, Christophe Jallet, Laurent Koscielny, Samuel Umtiti, Raphaël Varane, Presnel Kimpembe, Layvin Kurzawa, Lucas Digne, Benjamin Mendy

Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi, N’Golo Kanté, Corentin Tolisso, Adrien Rabiot, Thomas Lemar

Forwards: Nabil Fekir, Alexandre Lacazette, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, Kingsley Coman, Florian Thauvin

 

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