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Kante, Payet in France squad for Netherlands, Russia

Premier League stars N’Golo Kante and Dimitri Payet have been included in the France squad for international friendlies vs Netherlands and Russia.

Les Bleus continue their Euro 2021 preparations by facing Oranje at Amsterdam ArenA on 25 March before playing host to Russia four days later at Stade de France.

The France national team coach Didier Deschamps has now unveiled his list for the two matches, and there have been some good news for Premier League stars.

Leicester City hotshot N’Golo Kante has received his first ever call-up following some memorable displays for the Foxes in the Premiership.

At the same time, West Ham playmaker Dimitri Payet returns after a lengthy exile as his scintillating displays appear to have persuaded Deschamps that he has a place in the France squad.

Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena misses out through injury, whereas Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema remains suspended.

Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu has been preferred to Man City’s Eliaquim Mangala, whereas Hatem Ben Arfa, Kevin Gameiro and Alexandre Lacazette have been left out.

Rennes starlet Paul-Georges Ntep recently underwent an emergency surgery and he has been ruled out of the Euro 2021.

France squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Benoit Costil (Rennes);

Defenders: Patrice Evra (Juventus), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Jeremy Mathieu (Barcelona), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Lucas Digne (Roma), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal);

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Lassana Diarra (Marseille), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), Dimitri Payet (West Ham), N’Golo Kante (Leicester);

Forwards: Kingsley Coman (Bayern), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Monaco), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres).

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