Squad for Norway-France friendly. And, yes, no World Cup players.

Benzema, Nasri and Mexes...three guys that should have never been off the team, are back.

Well, this is kind of the moment that we have been waiting for. After the debacle that was Raymond Domenech, supporters of the French National Team were wondering what direction new manager Laurent Blanc was going to guide the team.

And by his first selection of player for the friendly against Norway, it is still hard to tell.

But even with it being hard to tell, we are kind of seeing what personnel are maybe in and out.

One promise that Blanc made a few weeks ago is that there would be no World Cup players on this team. And this was a promise that he was able to keep. With the exception of Lassana Diarra (who was expected to play in the World Cup but couldn’t), this squad is a totally new look for those of you who either casually watch France, or watch the French on a regular basis.

So, lets dive right into the roster. Here is the squad that Blanc released today for the Norway friendly:

GARDIENS : Stéphane Ruffier (Monaco), Nicolas Douchez (Rennes).

DÉFENSEURS : Rod Fanni (Rennes), Adil Rami (Lille), Philippe Mexès (AS Rome/ITA), Mamadou Sakho (Paris-SG), Benoît Trémoulinas (Bordeaux), Aly Cissokho (Lyon), Mathieu Debuchy (Lille).

MILIEUX :
Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid/ESP), Moussa Sissoko (Toulouse), Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Samir Nasri (Arsenal/ANG), Yohan Cabaye (Lille), Charles N’Zogbia (Wigan/ANG), Blaise Matuidi (Saint-Etienne).

ATTAQUANTS : Hatem Ben Arfa (Marseille), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), Loïc Rémy (Nice), Jimmy Briand (Lyon), Jérémy Ménez (AS Rome/ITA), Guillaume Hoarau (Paris-SG).
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Ligue 1 All-Star Team – Defenders

Matthieu Chalmé - Our Ligue 1 All-Star right back

Throughout the years, Ligue 1 has always been considered one of the most physical leagues in all of the world. That physical play leads to less scoring as well, which makes for better defenders.

Still, this year seems to be bucking the trend, as goals are flying in Ligue 1 this season. Who thought, even with all the fire-power that both teams have, that we would see a 5-5 game between Lyon and Marseille a month ago.

Therefore, in Ligue 1 anything is possible.

Still, while there are many defenders that make the cut, there are a few defenders that caught the eyes of our voters. And here are our choices for out Ligue 1 All-Star team defenders.
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Ligue 1 Fantasy Football Guide

I know there are many people out there who are English-speaking that try to play as many online fantasy football games as possible. Heck, I even play fantasy basketball from time to time, having no idea what I am doing. And with many websites, like Yahoo, offering French fantasy football, some fans need guidance on how the pick their starting line up for their team.

I have been involved with fantasy sports since 1988, when I played in a fantasy hockey league on an internet program called Q-Link, which was available for the Commodore 64. I have won my fair share of championships throughout the years. And, hopefully, this site can help you with your starting lineup if you are in a French football fantasy league, but have no idea who to start.

We will be doing this every week, and hopefully you will enjoy it!

And if you have a question about starting players, leave a comment and we can get back to you.

So, on to Matchday 15. Who to play and who not to play is the question. And to start off, I will give you my starters for the week.

But just a note before we start…make sure you do not start any Monaco or Montpellier players as that game has been postponed due to swine flu.
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French 24 named for Ireland

raymond-domenech-a-presente-le-nouveau-maillot-des-bleus

Domenech shows the press France's new jersey

Raymond Domenech today announced the players that he will call up for France’s playoff matches against Ireland in order to qualify for the World Cup final.

Here is the player selection:

Goaltenders:
Cedric Carrasso (Girondins Bordeaux)
Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyonnais)
Steve Mandanda (Olympique Marseille)

Defenders:
Eric Abidal (FC Barcelona / ESP)
Aly Cissokho (Olympique Lyonnais)
Julien Escude (Sevilla / ESP)
Patrice Evra (Manchester United / ENG)
Rod Fanni (Stade Rennais)
William Gallas (Arsenal / ENG)
Bacary Sagna (Arsenal / ENG)
Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla / ESP)
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