Varane, Remy recalled to France squad

03 October 2013 01:31

France coach Didier Deschamps on Thursday recalled Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane and Newcastle United striker Loic Remy into his squad for the upcoming games against Australia and Finland.

Les Bleus will face Australia in a friendly at the Parc des Princes in Paris on October 11 before hosting Finland at the Stade de France on October 15 in their final game in World Cup qualifying Group I.

Centre-back Varane, 20, makes the squad despite only making his comeback from five months on the sidelines with a knee injury in Madrid's 4-0 Champions League win against FC Copenhagen on Wednesday.

"Varane was with us for two games in March. He had an injury that prevented him from taking part in our tour of South America in June but he has now been training fully for three weeks and returned to competition yesterday (Wednesday)," said Deschamps.

"He has not played much but his past performances with us made me think that the logical thing was for him to come back into the squad. I consider Raphael to be an important member of the France team."

Varane is joined in the squad by Mamadou Sakho, who earns a recall after leaving Paris Saint-Germain for Liverpool in search of playing time, as Adil Rami of Valencia misses out.

Further forward, Remy is rewarded for his good recent form in the Premier League with Newcastle by coming back into the national squad in place of the injured Andre-Pierre Gignac of Marseille.

"Remy scores goals, is capable of playing in several positions and offers us pace and penetration. He gives us different options going forward," added Deschamps.

Remy is one of four Newcastle players named, with midfielder Yohan Cabaye also back after ending a dispute with the English club.

Elsewhere, Manchester City's Samir Nasri keeps his place after making a positive impression on his return to the national set-up last month, while Deschamps keeps faith in Karim Benzema despite the Real Madrid striker having gone more than 20 hours without scoring for Les Bleus.

France trail World Cup qualifying Group I leaders Spain only on goal difference but the reigning world champions have a game in hand so Deschamps' side are already resigned to taking part in a two-legged play-off in November that will decide whether they go to Brazil.

France squad to play Australia and Finland:

Goalkeepers: Mickael Landreau (Bastia), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Eric Abidal (Monaco), Gael Clichy (Manchester City/ENG), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United/ENG), Patrice Evra (Manchester United/ENG), Laurent Koscielny, Bacary Sagna (both Arsenal/ENG), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool/ENG), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/ESP)

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United/ENG), Clement Grenier (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Samir Nasri (Manchester City/ENG), Paul Pogba (Juventus/ITA), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United/ENG)

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal/ENG), Dimitri Payet (Marseille), Loic Remy (Newcastle United/ENG), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich/GER), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)

Source: AFP

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 16:17