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England vs France Preview

November 17, 2010 By Stewart Flaherty
England and France will go head to head in a high profile international friendly at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday night.
The game is a chance for both countries to continue their rehabilitation after disappointing World Cup campaigns that failed miserably to live up to expectations.

Fabio Capello’s England have performed well to date in their Euro 2012 campaign. England sit second in their group and have produced wins over Switzerland and Bulgaria by 3-1 and 4-0 scores respectively.

England will be using this fixture as a chance to experiment with players and give some fresh faces a chance to prove themselves on the international scene against quality opposition. Capello this week confirmed that controversial Newcastle United forward Andy Carroll and Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson will make their international debuts in this game. Young Arsenal left-back Kieron Gibbs will also be handed a start in the absence of Ashley Cole.

Chelsea left back Cole is on a lengthy injury list for the Three Lions that also includes Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Glen Johnson and Jack Wilshere.

Familiar faces for England fans who should play include Joe Hart, Rio Ferdinand and up and coming winger Adam Johnson. The call-up of Jay Bothroyd of Championship club Cardiff City has received plenty of media attention, and many England fans will be interested to see if the forward can cope with the step up to international standard.

France Coach Laurent Blanc faced a tough job taking over a France team that committed a mutiny and actually refused to train for previous Coach Raymond Domenech at the World Cup. The French FA suspended the players responsible and that was partially responsible for France losing their opening Euro 2012 qualifier against Belarus in Paris.

Blanc has helped them achieve some better form and the French enter this game in the back of consecutive 2-0 victories over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and Luxembourg.

English Premier League stars Patrice Evra and Nicolas Anelka were seen as leaders of the Word Cup problems, and the two remain excluded from the France squad under Blanc. Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery is another star absentee, he is out with injury.

Barcelona’s Eric Abidal has been recalled to the team, and Blanc has received some criticism for his selection of Alou Diarra. The Bordeaux Captain made the squad despite the fact he is serving a six-game domestic suspension for pushing a referee.

Fans of both teams will be well aware of the damage that can be done by French stars Samir Nasri and Florent Malouda. The pair have been in excellent form for Arsenal and Chelsea in the English Premier League this season.

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