Posted May 15, 2012 on AP on Fox
France coach Laurent Blanc included uncapped defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and out-of-form midfielders Yoann Gourcuff and Alou Diarra in a 26-man provisional squad for the European Championship. Yanga-Mbiwa contributed to Montpellier's strong title run in the French league this season and benefited from Mamadou Sakho's lackluster season. Sakho lost his starting spot at Paris Saint-Germain under coach Carlo Ancelotti. Diarra and Gourcuff have performed poorly with Marseille and Lyon respectively, but Blanc kept faith in them on Tuesday. France is in Group D with England, Sweden and Ukraine. Blanc has until May 29 to name his final 23-man squad. France will host Iceland on May 27, Serbia on May 31 and Estonia on June 5 in friendlies.
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