Chelsea star could make his international debut for France

Kurt Zouma

With a host of defenders out injured, Kurt Zouma is poised to make his France debut when they meet Albania on Friday.

On Friday night, France take on Albania at Rennes’ Stade de la Route de Lorient stadium and it could see young Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma make his debut for the senior side as Didier Deschamps continues his preparations for the 2016 European Championships

Three of the back four that lined up against Germany at the World Cup are not included in Deschamps's latest squad and a few injuries will mean the defence has a new look on Friday.

This is not the first time that Zouma has received a call-up into the full squad, but he has yet to feature and this is his first inclusion since making the move to Stamford Bridge.

There is no doubt that Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane will start on Friday, but his partner is definitely still to be decided. Both Eliaquim Mangala and Loic Perrin picked up knocks this week which led to Zouma being called into the squad.

Christophe Jallet of Lyon is likely to start against Albania with Bacary Sagna taking the second game against Sweden. He has been superb this season for Lyon and although 30 years old, he deserves his place in the team.

With the second game against Sweden the tougher of the two fixtures, there is a chance that Zouma could play on Friday with Mapou Yanga-M’Biwa playing beside Varane in Marseille. It will all depend in the fitness of Perrin and Mangala. Both are still in the squad, but they are more likely to feature against Sweden if they are to play at all.

Zouma and Yanga-M’Biwa are the only fit centre-backs for the game on Friday. It could lead to the Chelsea youngster making his first start, but Yanga-M’Biwa is the more senior option and has played well on loan at Roma this season.

France have a huge number of central defenders coming through and it could see at least eight players fighting for four positions come 2016, so this is a huge opportunity for the Chelsea defender to stake a claim.

Injuries may be the only reason he has been called up, but it is now down to the player to show why it was the right decision from Deschamps.

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