Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Martial and Lacazette omitted from France squad while injury rules Payet out

France team celebrates winning the World Cup. Image PA Injured Payet misses out on France's 23-man World Cup squad
Shannon Reynolds | 18 May, 2018, 13:04

The Socceroos have been handed a World Cup lifeline after France named their squad but omitted some key names.

France are without defender Laurent Koscielny, who suffered a major Achilles injury in Arsenal's Europa League semi-final against Atletico.

Dimitri Payet isn't going to Russian Federation.

France manager Didier Deschamps has named his 23-man squad for the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup with some big names placed on standby.

Marseille's Dimitri Payet walks off the pitch after sustaining an injury during the Europa League Final soccer match between Marseille and Atletico Madrid at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France, Wednesday, May 16, 2018.

"He was a serious candidate for a place in the 23 but for this kind of injury it's usually three weeks of recovery", Deschamps said.

His team-mate Florian Thauvin, who has excelled at Marseille after an unhappy spell at Newcastle, is in the squad.

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The news may have come as more of a shock to Arsenal striker Lacazette, who was in good form for the Gunners in the latter stages of the season, scoring five and assisting one goals in his last six league appearance.

On paper, no team has more talent than France: N'Golo Kante and Paul Pogba in midfield and Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele up front.

Deschamps has until June 4 before submitting his definitive squad list.

Karim Benzema is the other notable omission, but the Real Madrid man was never in contention to make the trip as he has effectively retired from worldwide football ever since his infamous "sex-tape scandal" broke. The 22-year-old has been in and out of Jose Mourinho's team and has not scored or assisted a goal since February. "He plays in the same fashion as N'golo Kante", Deschamps said.

Before heading to Russian Federation, they will play three home friendlies, starting against the Republic of Ireland at the Stade de France on May 28.

Les Bleus, who take on Australia, Denmark and Peru in Group C, begin their training camp on May 23, with only Raphael Varane missing out on the start as he will play in the Champions League final for Real Madrid three days later.

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