France’s coach Raymond Domenech has chosen an new-look midfield for Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Ireland.
Without the suspended Patrick Vieira and the injured Benoit Pedretti, Domenech opted for Rio Mavuba and Olivier Dacourt in the defensive midfield positions.
Girondins Bordeaux’s Mavuba earned his first cap in the 1-1 draw against Bosnia in August, while Dacourt last played for France in the 1-0 defeat to Greece at Euro 2004 in June.
The new pairing will be partnered on the flanks by Robert Pires and his former Arsenal team-mate, Sylvain Wiltord.
Team: 16-Fabien Barthez; 5-William Gallas, 19-Gael Givet, 14-Sebastien Squillaci, 13-Mickael Silvestre; 17-Olivier Dacourt, 15-Rio Mavuba, 7-Robert Pires, 11-Sylvain Wiltord; 12-Thierry Henry, 9-Djibril Cisse