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Blanc readying new-look France for Belarus

Published: Tuesday 31 August 2010, 21.30CET
Laurent Blanc has selected uncapped quartet Kevin Gameiro, Cédric Carrasso, Mamadou Sakho and Benoît Trémoulinas for the visit of Belarus, his first competitive game as France coach.
Blanc readying new-look France for Belarus
Belarus will provide Laurent Blanc with his first competitive outing as France coach ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

FranceBelarus

Goals scored15
 
8
Total attempts140
 
100
Attempts on target64
 
28
Attempts off target60
 
57
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork2
 
0
Corners68
 
37
Offsides36
 
33
Yellow cards13
 
26
Red Cards0
3
Fouls committed119
 
144
Fouls suffered107
 
145
 
Published: Tuesday 31 August 2010, 21.30CET

Blanc readying new-look France for Belarus

Laurent Blanc has selected uncapped quartet Kevin Gameiro, Cédric Carrasso, Mamadou Sakho and Benoît Trémoulinas for the visit of Belarus, his first competitive game as France coach.

France will fill in another gap on their footballing map of Europe in Laurent Blanc's first competitive game as national team coach when they meet Belarus for the first time in their Group D opener.

Team news
• Blanc has selected nine of the squad which travelled to the 2010 FIFA World Cup for his first competitive match in charge, along with ten of the players from the 2-1 friendly defeat by Norway on 11 August. Franck Ribéry, Nicolas Anelka and Patrice Evra are not available after being suspended by the French Football Federation (FFF), while Samir Nasri, Djibril Cissé and André-Pierre Gignac are all missing through injury.

• FC Lorient forward Kevin Gameiro is included for the first time and joins uncapped trio Cédric Carrasso, Mamadou Sakho and Benoît Trémoulinas in a squad which will also travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina for a qualifier on 7 September. "To have a young team is a good thing, but it's not enough to be competitive at the highest level," said Blanc. "We tried to come up with a mixture of talented youngsters and more experienced players who can guide them."

• Midfielder Yohan Cabaye and defender Anthony Réveillère were added to the selection after Real Madrid CF's Lassana Diarra withdrew through injury, with Blanc explaining: "Lassana can play as a midfielder, as a right-back too." A hamstring injury subsequently saw Cabaye replaced by the uncapped Blaise Matuidi.

France squad
Goalkeepers:
Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyonnais), Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille), Cédric Carrasso (FC Girondins de Bordeaux)
Defenders:
Bacary Sagna (Arsenal FC), Adil Rami (LOSC Lille Métropole), Philippe Mexès (AS Roma), Mamadou Sakho (Paris-Saint-Germain FC), Benoît Trémoulinas (FC Girondins de Bordeaux), Gaël Clichy (Arsenal FC), Anthony Réveillère (Olympique Lyonnais)
Midfielders:
Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique de Marseille), Jérémy Ménez (AS Roma), Alou Diarra (FC Girondins de Bordeaux), Yann M'Vila (Stade Rennais FC), Abou Diaby (Arsenal FC), Florent Malouda (Chelsea FC), Yohan Cabaye (LOSC Lille Métropole), Blaise Matuidi (AS Saint-Etienne)
Forwards:
Kévin Gameiro (FC Lorient), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid CF), Loïc Rémy (Olympique de Marseille), Louis Saha (Everton), Guillaume Hoarau (Paris-Saint-Germain FC)

• Bernd Stange has omitted midfielders Timofei Kalachev and Leonid Kovel as well as FC Naftan Novopolotsk defender Dmitri Verkhovtsov due to the trio lacking match fitness following recent injuries. The German coach is setting his sights high for the forthcoming campaign, saying: "We face difficult opponents and it will be very hard for us. However, our aim is to qualify to the finals. Our minimum task is to reach the play-offs. We have to try to take our chance."

Belarus squad
Goalkeepers: Yuri Zhevnov (FC Zenit St. Petersburg), Anton Amelchenko (FC Rostov), Sergei Veremko (FC BATE Borisov)
Defenders: Igor Shitov (FC BATE Borisov), Sergei Sosnovski (FC BATE Borisov), Aleksandr Yurevich (FC BATE Borisov), Maksim Bordachev (FC BATE Borisov), Sergei Omelyanchuk (FC Terek Grozny), Aleksandr Martynovich (FC Krasnodar), Dmitri Molosh (FC Sibir Novosibirsk), Eduard Zhevnerov (FC Dnepr Mogilev)
Midfielders: Yan Tigorev (FC Metalurh Zaporizhya), Aleksandr Kulchiy (FC Rostov), Sergei Krivets (KKS Lech Poznań), Sergei Kislyak (FC Dinamo Minsk), Anton Putilo (SC Freiburg), Aleksandr Hleb (Birmingham City FC)
Forwards: Vitali Rodionov (FC BATE Borisov), Sergei Kornilenko (FC Rubin Kazan), Vyacheslav Hleb (Shenzhen Ruby FC), Vitali Kutuzov (AS Bari)

Match background
• National teams from the two countries have never met at any level in UEFA competition, with the only official meetings between French and Belarusian sides coming in the UEFA Intertoto Cup.

• In the group stage of the 1995 edition, FC Dnepr Mogilev held AS Cannes to a 2-2 draw at home, while in 2004 LOSC Lille Métropole battled their way past FC Dinamo Minsk in the third round, winning 2-1 at home and drawing 2-2 away.

• France's home record in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying under Raymond Domenech read W4 D2 L0, including a crucial 1-1 play-off draw against the Republic of Ireland. During the same campaign, Belarus won two and lost three of their group stage away games.

Last updated: 01/09/10 17.44CET

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