France’s Tremoulinas out of squad for qualifiers

France left back Benoit Tremoulinas pulled out of the squad on

Thursday for European Championship qualifiers against Romania and

Luxembourg because of a right thigh injury.

Coach Laurent Blanc said Tremoulinas, who plays for Bordeaux,

will be replaced by Lyon’s Aly Cissokho.

Blanc is already without Arsenal right back Bacary Sagna due to

a left thigh complaint, and has doubts over Arsenal midfielder Abou

Diaby and Bordeaux midfielder Alou Diarra. They both have ankle


”We have a few bumps and bruises. Abou Diaby has not been

training since Monday,” Blanc said. ”We will probably make a

final decision this evening or tomorrow morning (Friday), but it

seems unlikely he will make Saturday’s game.”

Blanc hopes Diarra will be fit for Saturday’s game at Stade de

France, while Diaby could return to face Luxembourg three days

later in Metz.

”We are more confident about Alou’s ankle,” Blanc said. ”He

will have a special session this afternoon and he will hopefully be

available for Saturday.”

Diarra was one of France’s best players in the 2-0 win at

Bosnia-Herzegovina last month.

The defense is certain to be inexperienced, with only Philippe

Mexes having made more than 10 international appearances.

Anthony Reveillere is likely to take Sagna’s place at right back

for his sixth international appearance, left back Gael Clichy has

played seven times, while center half Adil Rami has three caps.

Blanc is also sweating over the fitness of striker Karim

Benzema, who did not play for Madrid last weekend and has started

only one league game so far this season.

”He did a bit of extra training. You have to take into account

the week before the international break, where some players played

three matches and others didn’t play much,” Blanc said. ”Some

players had extra training, which was Karim’s case.”

Benzema scored an excellent goal to give France the lead against

Bosnia, and Blanc hopes he can carry on that form.

”He is very fired up,” Blanc said. ”He’s showing great

commitment and I hope he keeps that up.”