France boss Didier Deschamps has officially announced the 26-man squad that Les Bleus will rely on in their bid to become just the third nation to successfully defend its World Cup crown when 32 countries come together in Qatar in less than two weeks’ time.
Plenty of expected names will be in attendance, with the likes of Hugo Lloris, Raphaël Varane, Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, and Kylian Mbappé all back again for France while being added to by budding young starts in the vein of Christopher Nkunku, William Saliba, Eduardo Camavinga, Dayot Upamecano, and Aurélien Tchouaméni.Open in new window
France World Cup Squad
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Alphonse Areola
Defenders: Theo Hernandez, Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, Presnel Kimpembe, Ibrahima Konate, Jules Kounde, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano, Raphael Varane
Midfielders: Aurelian Tchouameni, Adrien Rabiot, Youssouf Fofana, Eduardo Camavinga, Matteo Guendouzi, Jordan Veretout
Forwards: Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe, Christopher Nkunku, Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembele
But the absence of one player, in particular, Olympique de Marseille’s Jonathan Clauss, caused Deschamps to comment on the back of the announcement of his intention to deploy his men in a back four formation in Qatar.
Clauss, who famously had a video taken during his time at Racing Club de Lens when he received his first call-up to the national team last season, continued to excel in Ligue 1 which earned him a move to the south of France this summer.
Though he remains key for OM, his ability as a wing-back, rather than a full-back, has meant he was shock exclusion from the team.
With one of the deepest player pools of any nation in the world, Deschamps is spoiled for choice with how he can first tackle Group D against Denmark, Tunisia, and Australia before setting their sights on a hopeful final appearance and then some.
Given his admission of a back four, 101GreatGoals takes a crack at predicting France’s XI for their opening match against Australia on 22 November.