The 2018 World Cup starts less than a month from now and those nations who have qualified are busy announcing their provisional, or in some cases already final squads. Two of the latest with some Chelsea interest include perennial favorites France and Germany.
France manager Didier Deschamps, like Brazil’s Tite, has opted to announce the final 23 already, which excludes some surprising names in Anthony Martial, Alexandre Lacazette, Adrien Rabiot, Kingsley Coman, and Dmitri Payet — and Payet didn’t even make the reserves! Another notable absentee is Laurent Koscielny, who ruptured his Achilles tendon in Arsenal’s Europa League semifinal against Atlético Madrid, while Steven N’Zonzi, Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez are some of the more surprising inclusions overall.
France players NOT selected for the 2018 World Cup squad:— SPORF (@Sporf) May 17, 2018
❌ Karim Benzema
❌ Dimitri Payet
❌ Anthony Martial
❌ Alexandre Lacazette
❌ Wissam Ben Yedder
❌ Kingsley Coman
❌ Andre-Pierre Gignac
❌ Adrien Rabiot
❌ Aymeric Laporte
Unbelievable squad depth. pic.twitter.com/ycX57E1GOo
With regards to Chelsea, N’Golo Kanté and Olivier Giroud both made the squad while loanee Kurt Zouma has been added to the reserves squad. Unsurprisingly, midfielder Tiémoué Bakayoko has missed out after having a forgettable season that many won’t let him forget for a while.
The squad in full set to take on Australia, Peru, and Denmark (Christensen vs. Giroud anyone?):
GOALKEEPERS: Alphonse Areola (PSG), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille);
DEFENDERS: Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Adil Rami (Marseille), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid);
MIDFIELDERS: N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Steven N’Zonzi (Sevilla) Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)
FORWARDS: Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Florian Thauvin (Marseille).
RESERVES: Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich) Benoit Costil (Bordeaux), Mathieu Debuchy (Saint-Etienne), Lucas Digne (Barcelona), Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (PSG), Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Kurt Zouma (Stoke City - on loan from Chelsea).
From one World Cup favourite to another, Germany announced their provisional squad earlier this week as well. The defending champions saw fit to include Antonio Rüdiger (well deserved!) in what’s looking like another strong group. No André Schürrle this time though, and four of the 27 listed will have to be cut before their first match of the tournament against Mexico in 30 days.
Here’s hoping that all three of these players have an amazing World Cup and make their respective countries proud!