Both teams had a terrible World Cup, France the worse off with on and off field problems, players being banned and the state of the National team now in question, this friendly is seen by both countries as a chance to experience with bringing in some of the new generation, something I feel the fans wanted to happen sooner than later and would have liked to see some of the players tonight at the world cup for England and France. So let’s take a look at some of the new stars for France first.
Dimitri Payet; Payet currently plays for Saint Etienne and is a winger who has a lot of pace, not unlike Aaron Lennon. He has made two appearances for France in their Euro 2012 Qualifiers coming on as a sub both times, tonight may be the same.
Loic Remy; People will have heard more of him when paying attention to the closing days of the transfer window where he was rumoured with many English clubs before singing for Marseille. Remy has made 5 appearance for the France Senior team and again is more of a winger but can play upfront much like Theo Walcott
Kevin Gameiro; The 23-year-old striker has started to come to prominence in the last few season with his current side Lorient, there have been rumours of Arsenal being interested in the striker and a future move may be on the cards. He has made only one start for France and that was against Belarus in the 2012 Euro qualifier as a substitute. Another player with some pace for France.
Yann M’vila; M’vila has represented France at every age level and has also captained his country before. A strong but technical midfielder has made 5 appearances and looks like he is going to be a prominent fixture in the France set up for a long time to come.
Yohan Cabaye; The 24-year-old made his debut against Norway earlier this year and with his energy and stamina he makes the perfect box to box midfielder. he can score goals in his 9 appearances for the U-21’s he scored 3 and for his club Lille he has played 161 times and scored 29 goals.
Mamadou Sakho; This much sought after defender is only 20-years old but has already made 103 appearances for Paris St. Germain in all competitions but surprisingly this will be his first cap for France, if he is brought on. He is already being resembled to Lillian Thuram for his stature and strength but unlike Thuram already plays in central defence.
Gary Cahill; Made his England debut against Bulgaria and could be in line for his second tonight. With Bolton doing well in the League and Cahill putting in high performances it’s good to see him get the chance to stake a claim for a spot in the England Defence
Kieran Gibbs; The young Arsenal full back is only just coming back from injury and looks to start. A pacey player who likes to get forward is very reminiscent of Ashley Cole and Arsenal and England will both be hoping that Gibbs can reach that standard of play.
Chris Smalling; A year and half ago no one knew who Chris Smalling was and now he has a chance to put on the England shirt for the first time. Since his move to Manchester United he has made a few appearance for United and has been reasonably impressive.
Jordan Henderson; Henderson deserves this chance to show what he can do on an International level. A good passer of the ball and will be looked to put in the passes for the wide players and for Carroll up front.
Andy Carroll; Should be making his debut this evening after being looked over before and has been in hot form not just this season but also last year in the the Championship. Carroll should give England something different upfront this evening.
Jay Boythrod; A surprise inclusion in the squad at 28 but that should give a real lift to all players eligible to play for England that if you are playing well enough despite the league you are in or what your age is, you still have a chance to feature for England. but also on the flip side, some may say that is the representation of the state of english football at the moment.
He gets a special mention for his age and this being his first call up for a senior england team. It is unlikly that he is going to feature predominantly for england in the future when Rooney and Defoe are back fit and healthy, though it is nice to see that if you are doing well that you will get a call up. He must feel great and that will probably only help his confidence to score more goals this season for Cardiff