France v England preview


Harry Kane will once again captain England in France

Gareth Southgate will have a fully fit England squad to choose from when his side take on France in an international friendly.


The 23-man team came through Saturday's 2-2 draw with Scotland unscathed, although there are likely to be changes as Southgate continues to experiment with his new players.

The manager sees the match at the Stade de France as a chance for England to test themselves against a tough side, who were Euro 2016 finalists just under a year ago.

"France is a great challenge for us. Our ambition with our friendly matches is to play the best possible teams - we've done that by playing Spain and Germany already," Southgate told the official FA website.

"They're teams we want to test ourselves against and these are great opportunities to learn and improve. A game away in the Stade de France will be a brilliant occasion for the players."

Widespread changes are expected in France manager Didier Deschamps' starting XI, with Monaco's rapidly rising star Kylian Mbappe in contention for just a second international start.

Deschamps guided France to the European Championship final last year but results since then have been inconsistent, and he has warned his players that places are now up for grabs.

"No one has any guarantees," said Deschamps.

"It can happen that you're not in good form for one or two games, but there are quality alternatives available."

For England, there are a few areas that could be subject to change, with Southgate confirming that Tom Heaton will start the game in goal while Jack Butland will play the second half.

There could also be debuts for defenders Ben Gibson and Kieran Trippier, who performed well with their clubs Middlesbrough and Tottenham last season, while Harry Kane will retain the captain's armband.

Jamie Vardy and Nathaniel Clyne withdrew from the England squad before Saturday's trip to Scotland and will not be available for selection this week.

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will captain France against England in Tuesday's Stade de France friendly, despite his blunder against Sweden last week.

France are sticking with Lloris, who was to blame for the 2-1 defeat in Stockholm when his poor clearance gave Ola Toivonen the chance to score a last-minute winner.


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