Match 64
Game Details
Match 63
Game Details

Hierro reappointed at RFEF

 By PA Sport

Hugo Lloris to captain France despite howler against Sweden

While Joe Hart is consigned to a watching brief in England's friendly against France, opposite number Hugo Lloris will captain Les Bleus just four days after a costly gaffe against Sweden.

Hart has not been dropped by Gareth Southgate, who had always planned on using the friendly at Stade de France to give chances to Tom Heaton and Jack Butland, but his rivals have at least been given a high-profile chance to stake their own claims.

Tottenham No. 1 Lloris might have expected to cede his spot to Bordeaux's Benoit Costil on the same grounds after he conceded an embarrassing last-minute winner from 50 yards in Stockholm, the result of a rash sprint from his box, a poor clearance and a brilliant piece of opportunism from Ola Toivonen.

But rather than invite competition, France are rallying behind their man.

"He will play, definitely. Lloris will captain,'' said manager Didier Deschamps on the eve of the encounter.

"I discussed it with him and included that in my thinking. We shared the same opinion, that's clear.

"We want him to go back on the pitch.''

Hugo Lloris
Hugo Lloris reacts after his gaffe gave Sweden a 2-1 last-gasp win.

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane was equally supportive of Lloris, who overtook Fabien Barthez to become his country's most capped keeper earlier this month.

Asked if his teammate had needed extra support in the aftermath of his error, Varane said: "No, but I personally told him what I thought about him and that that this didn't change anything.

"We all make mistakes. He will continue saving us in other games and we don't have to cry over spilt milk.''

Widespread changes are expected elsewhere in Deschamps' starting XI, with Monaco's rapidly rising star Kylian Mbappe likely to be given just a second international start.

There will be no shortage of interested parties assessing the 18-year-old's performance, which will probably come in place of Antoine Griezmann rather than in partnership, as Europe's top clubs run the rule over one of the continent's brightest prospects.

From the national team's persective, one year away from a World Cup they hope to be part of -- despite trailing Sweden on goal difference in Group A, another season at Monaco may be the best-case scenario.

Rather than bedding in at a new club, league and country, he would be virtually guaranteed to be the headline act at Stade Louis II. Lloris suggested last week Mbappe would be best advised to prioritise first-team football at this stage of his development but his manager stopped short of echoing those sentiments.

"It's obviously better them to play games as much as possible but look at [Olivier] Giroud at Arsenal, he didn't play a lot but every time he did he was very, very efficient,'' said Deschamps.

"When he came to France he was quite fresh, maybe fresher than others. Game time on the pitch is not a precise or exact science. What is more important is they need to be efficient on the pitch.''


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