PARIS (AP) — Olivier Giroud gets another chance to close in on France’s scoring record after being recalled by coach Didier Deschamps on Thursday.
Giroud needs three goals to equal Thierry Henry’s record tally of 51, and has a chance to stake a late claim for a place in the World Cup squad.
France has lost its Nations League title and is facing relegation to the second tier. Les Bleus host Austria next Thursday and travel to face Denmark three days later. France is last in Group 1 with two points from four games. Denmark leads with nine.
Deschamps names his squad next month for the World Cup in Qatar from Nov. 20-Dec. 18.
Giroud’s 48th international goal was in March against South Africa but he lost his place in the squad for the Nations League matches in June.
After helping AC Milan win the Italian league for the first time in 11 years, the 35-year-old Giroud has maintained his good form. His penalty on Wednesday in Milan’s 3-1 win against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League was his fourth in eight games — including one in a victory against city rival Inter Milan this month.
Deschamps also recalled Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, and handed first call-ups to Monaco defender Benoît Badiashile, Monaco midfielder Youssouf Fofana and Eintracht Frankfurt forward Randal Kolo Muani.
Central defender Presnel Kimpembe is out for six weeks with a hamstring injury, while striker Karim Benzema is nursing a minor thigh injury and is being rested.
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mike Maignan (AC Milan)
Defenders: Benoit Badiashile (Monaco), Jonathan Clauss (Marseille), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United).
Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid).
Forwards: Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Christopher Nkunku (Leipzig).
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Source: AP News