Martial still in Deschamps' France plans despite latest omission

The Manchester United forward still figures in the thinking of the World Cup-winning coach, in spite of his absence for November's internationals

Anthony Martial still figures in France head coach Dider Deschamps' plans, despite being omitted from the squad for the November international break.

The Manchester United forward has been in fine form since his return from a two-month lay-off with a thigh injury, scoring three goals in his past six games.

The 23-year-old has caught the eye in particular for his link-ups with Marcus Rashford and Daniel James at Old Trafford, helping the Red Devils climb to seventh in the Premier League.

However, Martial – whose last international appearance came in a friendly against Russia in March 2018 – has again been omitted for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers with Moldova and Albania.

Deschamps, though, says he is likely to be included in the future, telling reporters: "He was part of the French team on a regular basis, but recently he was often injured.

"He came back not so long ago and it's going well in his role as a central striker with Manchester United. For a long time he's been part of the players likely to be called up." 

Olivier Giroud was one surprise call-up given he has only played 120 minutes of top-flight football for Chelsea this season, but Deschamps added that the 33-year-old had earned his trust as a performer.

"Maybe that means something but it's mostly what happened on the pitch that means something," he said. "If he is the one I used the most, do not forget either the ratio of matches and goals.

"There are not many in front of him in terms of goals in the history of the France team. He did the right thing, he answered the trust."

Deschamps also expects Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe to be fit to feature even though he missed the 2-1 Ligue 1 win at Brest on Saturday with a muscular issue.

"[Mbappe] has not arrived yet, [but] will be there," he added. "There was communication between the two doctors on the fact it was a precaution.

"There was no particular concern compared to our Thursday deadline."

However, Blaise Matuidi has been forced to withdraw following a rib problem, with Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi called up in his place.

Juventus star Matuidi was diagnosed with his issue during medical tests in Turin on Monday, having played 70 minutes of Sunday's 1-0 Serie A win over AC Milan.

The reigning world champions meanwhile will qualify for Euro 2020 from Group H if they beat Moldova in Paris on Thursday, or if Iceland fail to win against Turkey.

"Qualifying has never historically been simple for Les Bleus," Deschamps added.

"We only took one point from six against Turkey, but the main objective is to qualify.

"It's our goal to finish first, but that's not in our hands anymore because of Turkey. But even if we're first, we wouldn't necessarily be seeded for the draw [for the finals]."

France finish their qualifying campaign with an away game against Albania on November 17.