Football: Anelka called up for France

Click to follow
The Independent Online
FRANCE RECALLED Nicolas Anelka, the Arsenal striker, yesterday to its roster to face Russia and Andorra in the forthcoming European Championship qualifying matches. Roger Lemerre, the coach, also brought back the defenders Laurent Blanc and Marcel Desailly as expected.

Both featured in France's World Cup success but were suspended for France's opening Euro 2000 qualifying match, a 1-1 draw in Iceland. Anelka played once under the previous coach, Aime Jacquet, but was not selected for the World Cup finals.

Tony Vairelles, the Lens winger, keeps his place after recent outstanding performances in the European Champions league, but Lemerre has dropped the Bordeaux striker, Lilian Laslandes, and the Monaco winger, Thierry Henry, who both played in Iceland. France travel to Moscow to face Russia on 10 October before hosting Andorra at Saint-Denis four days later.

Steve Lomas must prove his fitness to Lawrie McMenemy, the Northern Ireland manager, ahead of their Championship qualifier against Finland tomorrow week. The Irish captain has been out of action since he damaged ankle ligaments playing for West Ham at Coventry at the end of August and he missed the 3-0 defeat in Turkey. Though on the way back, he is not expected to be back for West Ham's trip to Blackburn today.

McMenemy, however, is prepared to pitch him in against the Finns even if he is lacking match fitness, because of the importance of beating Finland in the Group Three meeting at Windsor Park. Failure would mean hopes of qualifying would be all but over.

Queen's Park Ranger's Keith Rowland is named in the full squad after he was called up from the stand-by list to play against the Turks. The Dundee United pair, Iain Jenkins and Darren Patterson, who withdrew from the Istanbul game through injury, are also back.

But there is still no place for Gerry Taggart, even though he is now playing regularly for Leicester. He has to make do with a place on the stand-by list as does Jim Magilton, the Sheffield Wednesday midfielder.

NORTHERN IRELAND SQUAD (v Finland, Windsor Park, 10 October): Fettis (Blackburn), Taylor (Fulham), Hughes (Newcastle), Horlock (Man City), Jenkins (Dundee United), Morrow (QPR), Hill (Northampton), Patterson (Dundee Utd), Jim Whitley (Man City), M Hughes (Wimbledon), Gillespie (Newcastle), McCarthy (Birmingham), Mulryne (Man Utd), Lennon (Leicester), Lomas (West Ham), Rowland, Dowie (both QPR), O'Boyle (St Johnstone), Quinn (WBA).

FRENCH SQUAD (v Russia, Moscow, 10 October, and Andorra, Saint-Denis, 14 October): Goalkeepers: Barthez (Monaco), Charbonnier (Rangers). Defenders: Blanc (Marseille), Candela (Roma), Desailly (Chelsea), Leboeuf (Chelsea), Lizarazu (Bayern Munich), Thuram (Parma). Midfielders: Boghossian (Parma), Deschamps (Juventus), Djorkaeff (Internazionale), Petit, Vieira (both Arsenal), Zidane (Juventus). Forwards: Anelka (Arsenal), Dugarry, Pires (both Marseille), Trezeguet (Monaco), Vairelles (Lens).