Adrien Rabiot could make his debut for France after coach Didier Deschamps picked the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder in his 23-man squad for a World Cup qualifier against Sweden and a friendly against the Ivory Coast.
Anthony Martial and Andre-Pierre Gignac were notably missing from the squad announced on Thursday. The forwards for Manchester United and Tigres in Mexico entered as substitutes in France’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying win against the Netherlands on Oct. 10.
Ousmane Dembele figured to be among Deschamps’ options in attack. The Borussia Dortmund forward made his debut for France against Italy in September.
With Rabiot offering defensive cover in midfield, Deschamps left out Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye. Rabiot was on a list of standby players for the European Championship last summer, but did not make the cut. He has been very consistent in PSG’s midfield.
“Yes, the competition for a place in France’s midfield is tough,” Deschamps said. “But the same is true at PSG. Every time there is a question asked of Rabiot, he answers it emphatically.”
France plays Sweden on Nov. 11 at the Stade de France, and Ivory Coast on Nov. 15 in Lens.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Crystal Palace), Alphonse Areola (PSG)
Defenders: Sebastien Corchia (Lille), Lucas Digne (Barcelona), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Layvin Kurzawa (PSG), Adil Rami (Sevilla), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona)
Midfielders: Adrien Rabiot (PSG), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Dimitri Payet (West Ham), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham)
Forwards: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Kevin Gameiro, (Atletico Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)