Blanc names 23-man squad for Brazil clash

Les Bleus

Laurent Blanc’s France squad for next week’s friendly against Brazil includes fourteen players based in Ligue 1, while there is a first call-up to the national set-up for Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny.

25 year-old Koscielny, who moved to England last summer from Lorient, is joined in the squad by club colleague Abou Diaby, whilst Roma’s Jérémy Menez and Saint-Etienne’s Blaise Matuidi make their returns. However, there is no place for another Sainté player, Dimitri Payet, or former captain Patrice Evra. Samir Nasri and Mathieu Valbuena are other notable absentees, in their case due to injury.

The match against Brazil will be played at the Stade de France on Wednesday, 9 February, as Les Bleus play their first game since defeating England 2-1 at Wembley in November. Blanc’s men currently lie top of their Euro 2012 qualifying group, with nine points from four outings in Group D. Their next game in the section will come in Luxembourg on 25 March.

France squad to play Brazil at the Stade de France on 9 February:

Goalkeepers: Cédric Carrasso (Bordeaux), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Gaël Clichy (Arsenal), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Philippe Mexès (Roma), Adil Rami (Lille), Anthony Réveillère (Lyon), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Paris Saint-Germain)

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Lille), Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Yoann Gourcuff (Lyon), Yann M'Vila (Rennes), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Saint-Etienne)

Attackers: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kévin Gameiro (Lorient), Guillaume Hoarau (Paris Saint-Germain), Jérémy Ménez (Roma), Loïc Rémy (Marseille)

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