5 players fighting to be part of France's World Cup squad
A look at 5 French stars that are struggling to make manager Deschamps' final 23-man list for the World Cup
Les Bleus as the French national team is known will be among the favourites to win the World Cup when it kicks off in Russia in June.
Didier Deschamps and his men were also the favourites when the nation hosted the European Championships in 2016. The team went all the way to the final playing some very uninspiring football & were beaten in extra time in the final by another uninspiring finalist: Portugal.
Deschamps' choice of players was severely criticized by the French press as some of the choices he made in terms of playing personnel for the tourney were baffling, to say the least (Andre Gignac over Kevin Gameiro/Alexandre Lacazette was the most talked about one).
Given the plethora of players available to be chosen from, the manager has vowed to do things differently as he intends to only pick players playing regularly for their clubs and who fit into his plans.
Certain players like Paul Pogba, Samuel Umtiti, Antoine Griezmann among others are almost certain to be at the Mundial.
The same cannot be said about some other players, here is a look at 5 of those who still need to convince Deschamps about their places at Russia 2018:
#5 Kurt Zouma (Chelsea but on loan at Stoke City)
The centre-back has had a mixed season so far and faces an uphill struggle to be among the 23-man list to the World Cup.
While he has shown flashes of form for struggling Stoke City in the Premier League, he has not been consistent enough and has been in and out of the team despite the equally erratic form of fellow centre-backs Bruno Martins Indi, Kevin Wimmer & Ryan Shawcross.
His desire to make the World Cup squad will not be helped by the quality available to the manager, Deschamps in the centre-back position as Umtiti, Raphael Varane & Laurent Koscielny are almost certain to be in the party leaving space for just one more.
Zouma is up against Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Benjamin Pavard (Vfb Stuttgart) and on current form, the PSG man seems to have the nod.
The Chelsea loanee will need to play out of his skin and help Stoke avoid relegation if he is to stand any chance of making it to Russia.