France football team coach Didier Deschamps on Thursday picked the squad for Les Blues’ next two games of UEFA Nations League. Milan striker Olivier Giroud has been called up and Ousmane Dembele has also been included in the squad for the match against Austria and Denmark. Meanwhile, the likes of Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe, Kingsley Coman, and Lucas Hernandez have been ruled out with injuries.
Karim Benzema is sidelined with a thigh injury suffered playing for Real Madrid, while Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup after undergoing knee surgery. With Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante recovering from injury, Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe sidelined, and Bayern Munich duo Kingsley Coman and Lucas Hernandez also ruled out.
In such a scenario, Deschamps has brought back some familiar faces and handed a first chance to others for France’s games. Apart from including Olivier Giroud, Deschamps has also called his teammate Theo Hernandez and Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, although the latter has missed the last two games with the Old Lady due to an injury.
Coming to Giroud, the 2018 France World Cup winner made his last appearance with Les Blues in March 2022, missing the following four Nations League games in June. He has scored 48 goals in 112 games with his national team, three less than France’s all-time best scorer Thierry Henry. Giroud has scored four goals in eight appearances across all competitions with Milan this season, netting his first-ever Champions League goal with the Rossoneri against Dinamo Zagreb yesterday.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Mike Maignan (AC Milan), Alphonse Areola (West Ham United)
Defenders: Benoit Badiashile (Monaco), Jonathan Clauss (Marseille), Theo Hernandez (Milan), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United)
Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid)
Attackers: Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)