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Martial and Lacazette are major absentees in France's World Cup squad

Martial and Lacazette are major absentees in France's World Cup squad

Didier Deschamps is the latest national manager to name his 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation, and the former World Cup victor has named Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe in his mouth-watering list of players aiming to sparkle in next month's tournament.

Arsenal striker Lacazette, who scored 14 goals in 32 Premier League appearances this season, features in a list of 11 players on stand-by should one of the 23 men selected by Deschamps get injured before the coach hands his list to Federation Internationale de Football Association on June 4, 10 days before the start of the tournament in Russia.

Les Blues may have lost key players like Laurent Koscielny and the latest casualty Dimitri Payet to injury, but they have a large pool of players to select from and are equally considered as one of the tournament's favourite.

Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti, Manchester City left-back Benjamin Mendy, who recently recovered from a long-term injury, and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris are also in the squad.

Antoine Griezmann will lead the attack, fresh from scoring twice for Atletico in the Europa League final.

"Just watch Mbappe's performance in this position against Russian Federation recently".

Deschamps has until June 4 before submitting his definitive squad list.

Another notable exception is Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who has been frozen out of the squad since 2015 after his alleged role in blackmailing team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

"He played the first half-hour of the Europa League final and his situation worsened".

Thomas Lemar-who has scored just three times for Monaco this year-is more of a surprise after his drop-off in form. I put the group on top of everything and from there, I make choices that in my opinion are for the good of the France team.

France, runner-up at the European Championship two years ago, opens its World Cup campaign against Australia on June 16.

Prior to their departure for Russia, France will take on Ireland, Italy and the United States in friendlies.

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