Martial handed first France start in two and a half years

By Tom Webber 9 September 2020 14
Martial handed first France start in two and a half years

Anthony Martial was handed his first France start for two and a half years in the Nations League meeting with Croatia on Tuesday.

Didier Deschamps named the Manchester United striker in a starting line-up for Les Bleus for the first time since a friendly against Russia in March 2018.

Martial replaced Kylian Mbappe, who took a knock to his right ankle, in the 1-0 victory over Sweden on Saturday and won a late penalty that Antoine Griezmann skied.

With Mbappe having left the group after testing positive for COVID-19, Martial was picked alongside Wissam Ben Yedder, who came in for Olivier Giroud, in attack at the Stade de France.

Hugo Lloris, Dayot Upamecano, N'Golo Kante and Griezmann were the only players to retain their spots following the unconvincing win against Sweden.

Clement Lenglet and Lucas Hernandez were drafted into a three-man defence, with Ferland Mendy and Moussa Sissoko deployed in the full-back positions.

The only other change saw Steven N'Zonzi come in for Adrien Rabiot.

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