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 By Ian Holyman

Blaise Matuidi urges France fans to sing England anthem at friendly

PSG's Blaise Matuidi wants France fans to show solidarity.

France midfielder Blaise Matuidi has called on fans to sing the English national anthem as a tribute to the Manchester and London terror attack victims when the two sides meet in a friendly on Tuesday.

England hosted France four days after 130 people were killed in the Paris attacks of November 2015, when England fans sang French national anthem "La Marseillaise."

On Tuesday, a change to the usual schedule will see the French national anthem go before "God Save the Queen," with the lyrics of the two hymns to be shown on the screens at the Stade de France.

And Matuidi hopes his compatriots will show solidarity with their cross-Channel neighbours.

"If the anthem is sung, everyone should sing it," the PSG midfielder said. "The country deserves it, especially with what has happened recently.

"It would be a pleasure. We'll also be supporting the country after what has happened."

Just over a week ago, eight people were killed by terrorists in London, and on May 22 a bomb blast at Manchester Arena left 22 people dead.

Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron are expected to go the Stade de France to watch the friendly, where tributes will be paid to the victims of the recent atrocities.

A minute's silence will be held at the stadium, where the players will be welcomed by fans holding up red and white placards to form the England flag as "Don't Look Back in Anger" is played by the Republican Guard. The Oasis song was sung by mourners as they gathered in the wake of the Manchester attacks and was then played again at Ariana Grande's tribute concert at Old Trafford.

Both sets of players will have a photo together to show solidarity and togetherness, just as they did at Wembley in November, when players posed shoulder-to-shoulder before standing together around the centre circle during a minute of silence.

England manager Gareth Southgate said: "We are very grateful to the French for offering this tribute to England as a country. It's nice that the history between us doesn't come between us at those moments."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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