The midfielder suffered an injury ahead of kick-off in Reykjavik, meaning Les Bleus had to make a late change to their starting XI against Iceland

N’Golo Kante was withdrawn from the France team to play Iceland because of injury prior to kick-off in Reykjavik.

The Chelsea midfielder had been named in the starting XI and was all set to play in the Euro 2020 qualifying match before reportedly suffering a muscle strain.

It meant Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko came into Didier Deschamps’ line-up for the Group H fixture.

Deschamps had earlier surprised some observers by choosing Lucas Digne at left-back, when Lucas Hernandez had been tipped to recover from a knee problem to start.

Olivier Giroud was the focus point in attack, supported by Antoine Griezmann, with Kylian Mbappe on the injured list along with midfield playmaker Paul Pogba and Hugo Lloris, the goalkeeper and regular captain of Les Bleus.

Kante could also miss France’s qualifier against Turkey on Monday, and Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will hope the former Leicester man is fit for the Blues’ next Premier League clash, their home game against Newcastle on Saturday, October 19.

The 28-year-old has started just three of Chelsea’s opening eight league games after being troubled by an ankle injury in the early weeks of the season.

Kante missed three weeks of Premier League action as well as his side’s Champions League opener against Valencia, while he was also kept out of the France squad for the previous qualifiers in September at Lampard’s request.

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The loss of Kante could see Lampard turn to Ross Barkley to replace him in the starting XI, as he did earlier this season, though Mateo Kovacic is also an option.

Chelsea are currently 10 points behind Liverpool in the Premier League after eight games, but just two behind second placed Manchester City.

The Blues have won their last four matches in all competitions heading into next week’s game at Stamford Bridge, which is followed by a trip to Amsterdam, where they face Ajax in the Champions League on October 23.


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