World Cup squad France says no to Payet

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There is no such hope for Payet, however, as he sustained a muscle injury in Olympique de Marseille's 3-0 defeat by Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final on Wednesday.

Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann were among the 23 players named by France manager Didier Deschamps in his provisional squad for the 2018 World Cup, but there was no place for Pogba's Manchester United team-mate Anthony Martial.

France were placed in group C alongside Australia, Peru, and Denmark.

Benjamin Mendy
Benjamin Mendy

France's 23 man squad for Russian Federation includes Giroud, who moved to Chelsea in January after being warned his World Cup place was in doubt if he remained on the Gunners' bench.

Bayern Munich forward Kingsley Coman and Paris St-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot are the other high-profile players to miss out.

"Without his injury he would have been a serious candidate for the 23-man list", Deschamps said.

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Somewhat surprisingly, Manchester City left-back Benjamin Mendy has made the cut despite missing most of the 2017-18 season with an ACL injury.

France are without defender Laurent Koscielny, who suffered a major Achilles injury in Arsenal's Europa League semi-final against Atletico. The 29-year-old Nzonzi has just two caps. "I have put my faith in players who have responded to that, and the squad comes before everything else", Deschamps said.

Deschamps had a lavish collection of riches to select from in attack, with Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Nabil Fekir and Olivier Giroud representing a formidable and varied array of options for his forward line. I think there is no point in accumulating multiple players in the same position'.

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Mendy only returned to competition in April with Manchester City but his influence on the left flank is such that Deschamps was not even tempted to overlook the former Monaco left back. "The most important thing is the life of the group", Deschamps said.

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