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 problems.
"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."