Published:September 29, 2017 1:01 am
Dimitri Payet has been called back by coach Didier Deschamps for France’s final World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Belarus.
The Marseille forward had been left out of Deschamps’ previous squad but has delivered a series of strong displays with his French club in recent weeks in a No. 10 role.
Payet is making his return alongside Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko and Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.
Despite a lackluster 0-0 draw against Luxembourg earlier this month, France tops Group A and leads Sweden by a point. The Netherlands is in third place, four points off the pace.
The French will clinch the group and qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia if they win in Bulgaria on Oct. 7 and Sweden loses against Luxembourg. France would guarantee a top-two finish with a win.
France hosts Belarus on Oct. 10.
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is out injured, with teammate Anthony Martial again snubbed by Deschamps in spite of his good form. Martial was involved in all four of United’s goals as the Premier League side beat CSKA Moscow 4-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (PSG), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Barcelona), Christophe Jallet (Nice), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Layvin Kurzawa (PSG), Djibril Sidibe (Troyes), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid).
Midfielders: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Adrien Rabiot (PSG), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Dimitri Payet (Marseille), Florian Thauvin (Marseille)