Rami replaces injured Koscielny in Deschamps’ France squad
Didier Deschamps has called up Adil Rami asa replacement for Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny for France’s qualifiers against Bulgaria and Belarus.
France coach Didier Deschamps has called up Olympique de Marseille defender Adil Rami after Arsenal star Laurent Koscielny pulled out of the team’s final two 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
France must beat Bulgaria and Belarus to qualify for Russia
Group leaders France take on Bulgaria in Sofia on 7 October and then play host to Belarus in Paris three days later, knowing that six points will be enough to see them through to next summer’s finals.
Koscielny pulled out complaining of chronic Achilles pain, meaning a second defensive withdrawal after Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy was sidelined with injury. Manchetsr United midfielder Paul Pogba and Barcelona's Ousmane Dembélé are also out with long-term injuries.
France top Group A with 18 points, one point ahead of Sweden, while Holland are third on 13 ahead of Bulgaria on 12 then Belarus and Luxembourg both on five.
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (PSG), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Olympique Marseille)
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Barcelona), Christophe Jallet (Nice), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Adil Rami (Olympique Marseille), Layvin Kurzawa (PSG), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: N'Golo Kanté (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Adrien Rabiot (PSG), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid), Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Dimitri Payet (Olympique Marseille), Florian Thauvin (Olympique Marseille)