France manager Didier Deschamps is working around an injury crisis for September’s UEFA Nations League matches, as Austria visit the Stade de France in Thursday’s League A Group 1 clash.
Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema, Presnel Kimpembe, N’Golo Kante, Kingsley Coman, Lucas Hernandez, Anthony Martial and Ibrahima Konate have all missed out on places in the squad, which has been altered further in recent days.
Deschamps has since lost Hugo Lloris, Adrien Rabiot, Theo Hernandez, Boubacar Kamara and Lucas Digne to injury, with the latter two initially called up to replace their stricken teammates.
The uncapped Alban Lafont has been included to cover for Lloris, but Mike Maignan will expect to get the nod in goal for Thursday’s game, potentially with Raphael Varane and Jules Kounde partnering up at the back.
William Saliba is another option for Deschamps, who will likely go with Benjamin Pavard and Ferland Mendy in the full-back positions if a back four is to be deployed from the first whistle.
A new-look midfield could see Matteo Guendouzi, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni all start at the Stade de France, with the latter enjoying a stellar start to life at Real Madrid.
A clause in Antoine Griezmann‘s contract is thought to be behind his role as a perennial substitute for Atletico Madrid this season, but the 31-year-old can expect to start this one.
Olivier Giroud‘s recall to the France squad could see the veteran AC Milan attacker link up with Kylian Mbappe in the final third, although Ousmane Dembele is waiting in the wings as he seeks his first international appearance in over a year.
France possible starting lineup: Maignan; Pavard, Kounde, Varane, Mendy; Guendouzi, Tchouameni, Camavinga; Griezmann; Mbappe, Giroud