France World Cup Roster 2014: Updates on 23-Man Squad, Starting 11 Projections
Although France has not yet qualified for the 2014 World Cup, it is never too early to think about which players would be making the trip.
The French squad received an unfortunate draw in UEFA qualifying and were forced into a group with reigning World Cup champions Spain. While they were competitive, they could only manage a second-place finish.
This puts the squad in a two-legged playoff against Ukraine, which also will not be easy. However, France has never lost in seven matches against their opponent.
If the team can come through with a strong performance, it will earn a trip to Brazil. Still, this will leave the question about which players make the roster and which will be left home.
Here is a look at the latest news and projections for the 23-man squad and starting lineup.
Oct. 22: Will Patrice Evra Talk His Way off Roster?
Patrice Evra has put himself in hot water with the media after recent television comments, according to ESPN's Mark Rodden.
In the interview, he called out a few former players and named them "tramps" and "parasites." Among those is Bixente Lizarazu, who had this to say about the reaction:
I was shocked by the aggression, the vulgarity, the loss of control, the lack of nuance and perspective.
Recently, I've been wondering about the fact that the leaders of today are the same as those in 2010 in South Africa... If he's a leader and he takes the initiative to do that, it's quite worrying.
Leadership is certainly a major question mark for France heading into the World Cup. The 2010 squad, led by Evra, quit on its coach on the way to a last-place finish in the group and an early exit.
According to Ian Holyman of ESPN, French coach Didier Deschamps defended the full-back while calling him a leader.
There is no denying Evra's talent as one of the best in the world at his position. However, Gael Clichy has also been impressive and can perform well without any controversy.
This remains one of the more interesting aspects to keep an eye on in the coming months.
Projected Starting XI
With all of the talent coming out of France, Didier Deschamps will have a lot of choices to make over the next few months. While some elite players will clearly be on the pitch every time out, the rest of the spots are up for grabs.
Here is a projection for the starting lineup at the World Cup, as well as a look at the reserves and other possible options.
Projected Starting XI
GK: Hugo Lloris
LB: Patrice Evra
CB: Mamadou Sakho
CB: Laurent Koscielny
RB: Bacary Sagna
DM: Yohan Cabaye
DM: Paul Pogba
LM: Franck Ribery
CM: Mathieu Valbuena
RM: Samir Nasri
ST: Olivier Giroud
GK: Steve Mandanda, Stephane Ruffier
D: Gael Clichy, Eric Abidal, Mathieu Debuchy, Adil Rami
M: Loic Remy, Blaise Matuidi, Dimitri Payet, Etienne Capoue, Clement Grenier
F: Karim Benzema
GK: Mickael Landreau
D: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Rod Fanni, Anthony Reveillere, Raphael Varane, Philippe Mexes
M: Moussa Sissoko, Jeremy Menez, Yoann Gourcuff, Yann M'Vila
F: Alexandre Lacazette, Andre-Pierre Gignac