Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Belgium-France Preview: Les Bleus look to end losing streak

Samir Nasri has earned a recall to Didier Deschamps' squad as they prepare to face a home side who have won their last five games

France will look to halt a run of three straight defeats when they travel to the King Baudouin Stadium to face Belgium on Wednesday.

Didier Deschamps' side have only won one of their last five games and were on the receiving end of losses to Spain, Uruguay and Brazil in their previous three matches.

Deschamps has recalled Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri to the international squad for the match in Brussels. The 26-year-old has not featured for the national team since Euro 2012 and served a three-match suspension after becoming embroiled in an
argument with a journalist following the team's quarter-final defeat to Spain.

Sevilla midfield Geoffrey Kondogbia, who was part of the winning French squad at the Under-20 World Cup, has also been handed a senior call-up, while there is a surprise place for Monaco defender Eric Abidal.

In contrast to France's recent poor form, they face a Belgium side full of confidence having lost just three of their previous 28 matches.

Marc Wilmots’ side are on a five-match winning streak and will be confident of another victory in front of their home fans.

The 25-man squad contains 11 players who play in the Premier League, including Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen, despite his struggle with injury during pre-season.

Spurs team-mates Nacer Chadli and Mousa Dembele are named in the squad, as are Chelsea trio Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku.

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Zakaria Bakkali earns his first senior call-up following an explosive start to the season with club side PSV, in which he became the youngest player ever to score an Eredivisie hat-trick on Saturday.