Anelka and Malouda called up for France against the Faroes

The France national team have some crucial games coming up as they aim to close the gap on Serbia at the top of their World Cup Qualifying Group.

They are currently eight points behind the leaders but have two games in hand, starting with this easy-ish encounter with the Faroe Islands next Wednesday (Aug 12th), just three days before the start of the Premiership season.

Anelka is almost guaranteed a starting place alongside Benzema as Thierry Henry is not judged to be match-fit by the France coach Raymond Domenech. He also won’t be able to play Franck Ribery the full 90 minutes either, as he has just recovered from an injury, and he has not picked Patrick Vieira for the squad.

Domenech refused to be drawn on France’s chances of making good the space between them and Serbia, but said: “We’re heading down the home stretch. It’s five games we have to win,”

“It’s not a match to be taken lightly.”

“For the last games to be decisive you have to win the first one,” Domenech said. “So we are concentrating only on Faeroe Islands, that’s most important.”

This game will be followed by a home match against Romania on September 5th, and then they will have the crunch match away in Serbia four days later.

Full France squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux).

Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Julien Escude (Sevilla), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Rod Fanni (Rennes), William Gallas (Arsenal), Bakary Sagna (Arsenal), Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla).

Midfielders: Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Moussa Sissoko (Toulouse), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich).

Forwards: Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Toulouse), Loic Remy (Nice).

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