Friday, September 18, 2020

Pogba absent from France squad due to COVID-19 as Martial returns

SoccerNews in La Liga 27 Aug 2020


Paul Pogba is absent from France’s squad for their upcoming Nations League fixtures due to coronavirus, but his Manchester United team-mate Anthony Martial has earned a recall. 

Martial, 24, initially broke into France’s senior reckoning as a 19-year-old shortly before he joined United in 2015, going on to win 18 caps. 

But, after a promising first season in England, Martial’s form suffered and he found himself struggling to hold down a regular starting position, which in turn saw others usurp him in the pecking order for France. 

The versatile forward has seen his career at Old Trafford reinvigorated by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, however, with the 2019-20 campaign seeing him finish with a career-best 23 goals across all competitions. 

United team-mate Pogba will not be joining him against Sweden and Croatia, though, due to the midfielder’s COVID-19 diagnosis – instead, he is replaced by 17-year-old talent Eduardo Camavinga. 

The Rennes prospect will become the youngest player to represent France since World War Two, should he feature in either match. 

There are also maiden call-ups for RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano and Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, while Adrien Rabiot – like Martial – is included for the first time since March 2018. 

Bayern Munich trio Benjamin Pavard, Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman are rested following their team’s Champions League success, though club colleague Lucas Hernandez is included. 

Nabil Fekir, Thomas Lemar and Tanguy Ndombele are also among those left out. 

France face Sweden in Solna on September 5, then host Croatia three days later at the Stade de France in a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final.

France squad in full:

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mike Maignan (Lille), Steve Mandanda (Marseille); Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona), Ferland Mendy, Raphael Varane (both Real Madrid), Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig); Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Steven Nzonzi (Rennes), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Houssem Aouar (Lyon); Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Jonathan Ikone (Lille), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain). 


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