Koscielny called up to France squad

France coach Laurent Blanc has called up Laurent Koscielny to the squad that will face Albania and Romania in European Championship qualifiers next month.

Blanc hopes the Arsenal defender will recover from the back spasms he suffered in the 2-0 loss to Liverpool last weekend as center backs Philippe Mexes and Mamadou Sakho are not available. Mexes is still recovering from a knee injury while Sakho picked up a hamstring injury in the French league.

France leads Group D with 13 points from six matches, followed by Belarus, which has 12 points but has played one game more.

France visits Albania on Sept. 2 and Romania on Sept. 6. Albania and Romania both have eight points from six games.