Newcastle United striker could miss out on World Cup place

Loic Remy

France are spoiled for choice in attack at the moment, and Newcastle's Loic Remy could miss out on Didier Deschamps squad.

French national boss Didier Deschamps will announce his latest squad for the friendly against the Netherlands tomorrow, and it is not the easiest of tasks. His one eye on trying out some new players and trying to get closer to his 23-man squad for the tournament in Brazil, there are some difficult choices ahead.

Before the final 23-man squad, Deschamps will name a 30 name preliminary list, and then will have the painstaking task of telling seven players that they will not be getting on the plane this summer.

With some difficult choices ahead, here is the 23-man squad that I would take if the tournament started next month.

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Stephane Ruffier (Saint-Etienne), Zacharie Boucher (Toulouse).

Defenders: Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Saint-Etienne), Eric Abidal (Monaco), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle), Patrice Evra (Manchester United. Layvin Kurzawa (Monaco).

Midfielders: Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Yohan Cabaye (PSG), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Samir Nasri (Manchester City), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).

Attackers: Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon).

In goals the undisputed number one is Lloris, Marseille's Steve Mandanda misses out due to his form this season, and veteran Mickael Landreau is currently injured. Ruffier deserves his call-up and Boucher has impressed since his move to Toulouse.

Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho misses out through injury, giving Chelsea new boy Kurt Zouma the chance to show what he can do in the national team squad.

PSG's Lucas Digne is left out due to a lack of playing time and the increase excellent form of Monaco youngster Layvin Kurzawa. With one eye on the future there is no real point in taking both Evra and Clichy; Evra gets the nod through experience.

Deschamps will take four central midfielders, three of them are certainties, and Gonalons has impressed this season as Lyon's captain, way ahead of Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko.

The most controversial position is in attack. Giroud and Benzema will definitely make the squad, even though over the past 12 months you could at some point question the form of both players.

Both players will fight for the lone striker spot, with Deschamps likely to play 4-2-3-1. That means the third back-up needs to be versatile, able to play centrally and out wide. Even though he has scored 12 goals in 13 games, which would rule out Marseille’s Andre-Pierre Gignac, making it between Newcastle's Loic Remy and Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette.

The Lyon forward gets the nod, mostly due to looking slightly towards Euro 2016 and his greater comfort while playing on the right. He has been excellent for Lyon this season, playing alongside Bafetimbi Gomis and currently has 13 league goals.

On the wings the inclusion of Ribery was never in doubt, but the other two spots cause a slight head-ache. Griezmann is enjoying an excellent season with Sociedad, and with his international ban now up, it's time for Deschamps to give him his first cap.

That leaves one space left on the wings, and it has gone to Florian Thauvin. The Marseille winger has become an important part of the club already, and has flourished after putting the messy transfer between Lille and Marseille behind him. He would be France's wildcard, that player that can spark a magical moment out of nothing and provide options on both the left and the right of the attack.

It remains to be seen whether Deschamps will be as willing to take some of those chances, or whether he will pick a more conservative squad. We will find out tomorrow afternoon.

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