PSG's Mbappé set to start for France
Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé is set to start at centre-forward for France when Les Bleus take on 2018 FIFA World Cup hosts Russia on Tuesday.
Tuesday, 27 March, 2018
Krestovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg
Russia - France
With Edinson Cavani in stunning form, Mbappé usually plays in a wider role for his club. But the 19-year-old spearheaded the likely starting XI for his country in pre-match training on Monday, and is poised to lead the line in St. Petersburg.
Fellow youngsters Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez are expected to start at full-back while Laurent Koscielny will step in for the injured Raphaël Varane in central defence as Didier Deschamps' men seek to make amends for Friday's 3-2 defeat at home to Colombia in the country where they hope to shine next summer.
"It's important for us to be in the host country, to sense the atmosphere of the country," Deschamps explained. "The people are welcoming, we've been able to get a feel for the city. The country is already well up for it. They want to put on a great World Cup. It's good to be able to play here."
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He added: "We try to choose our opponents for our warm-up games based on what we'll see at the World Cup. We wanted to test things against a quality team. It's a little taste of Russia before spending very long weeks here, hopefully."
Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso missed Friday's game due to a shin injury, but is likely to feature at some stage in the game. Paul Pogba, a substitute against Colombia, is set to start along with N'Golo Kanté and Adrien Rabiot in midfield while Hugo Lloris will start in goal.
Probable France team
Lloris; Pavard, Koscielny, Umtiti, Hernandez; Kanté, Pogba, Rabiot; Dembélé, Mbappe, Martial