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Benzema, Martial, Payet left off France World Cup squad

Benzema, Martial, Payet left off France World Cup squad

Arsenal striker Lacazette, who scored 14 goals in 32 Premier League appearances this season, features in a list of 11 players on stand-by should one of the 23 men selected by Deschamps get injured before the coach hands his list to Federation Internationale de Football Association on June 4, 10 days before the start of the tournament in Russia.

The former West Ham player, 31, went off injured during the Europa League final defeat by Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, although he was also not included in manager Didier Deschamps' previous squad.

After returning from injury at the end of Manchester City's record-breaking Premier League title success, Benjamin Mendy has done enough to earn a place, although team-mate Aymeric Laporte - City's record signing - misses out.

Both Martial and Lacazette are on the standby list of 11 players, which also includes Crystal Palace centre-back Mamadou Sakho, Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma and Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko.

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy makes the cut, as does Chelsea duo N'Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud as well as Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema's worldwide exile goes on - he has not played for France since October 2015 after being accused of involvement in a blackmail affair involving a sextape.

Without Payet, who played a key role at the 2016 Euro, France still can count on a group of attacking talents up front, spearheaded by Atletico star Antoine Griezmann.

Thomas Lemar-who has scored just three times for Monaco this year-is more of a surprise after his drop-off in form.

They start their World Cup campaign against Australia on June 16, with Peru and Denmark the other teams in their group.

They will then take on Italy in Nice on June 1 and the United States on June 9.

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