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Nations League F: hoped-for return of Cascarino with the Blues, without captain Wendie Renard

Qualified for the semi-final of the League of Nations, Hervé Renard's players will face Germany on February 23 in Lyon at Groupama Stadium.

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Nations League F: hoped-for return of Cascarino with the Blues, without captain Wendie Renard

Qualified for the semi-final of the League of Nations, Hervé Renard's players will face Germany on February 23 in Lyon at Groupama Stadium.

France, which finished its group undefeated, will have a good card to play against Germany, long a reference in Europe (double world champion and eight times European champion) but in crisis for several months.

Absent from the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, the Germans, finalists of Euro-2022 after beating the Blues, were eliminated in the first round of the last World Cup in Oceania.

It is also in Lyon that the coach of the French team, expected three weeks ago to take charge of the Ivory Coast until the end of the CAN in the form of loan, will announce his list on Wednesday at City Hall (11:00 a.m.). A group which could be closer to that of the 18 players who will be called up for the Olympic Games in Paris.

For this match and the possible final on February 28, the coach will have to do without his captain Wendie Renard (155 caps), affected in the thigh since December and in the recovery phase.

The defender will be forfeited for this gathering, a source close to the Bleues told AFP, which should give way to a hinge composed of Griedge Mbock and Elisa de Almeida or Maëlle Lakrar.

On the other hand, Hervé Renard will be able to count on the return of another Lyonnaise and Bleues executive: Delphine Cascarino.

Katoto in shape

An indestructible frame (56 caps, 14 goals), the winger with fiery legs suffered a ruptured cruciate ligament in her right knee last May, an injury which prevented her from participating in the World Cup.

The 27-year-old striker has been able to return to the field with OL since January 28.

Sunday against PSG (1-1) in Lyon, where she was at the origin of the equalizer for Lyonnaises after eliminating three players on her right side, she showed that she was gradually regaining her high level.

Just like the center forward and star of PSG, Marie-Antoinette Katoto, who had a very good start to 2024, apart from Sunday in Lyon where she was more discreet.

The No.9, also back from a long injury at the start of the season, has been scoring goals with PSG for several matches.

“We all know Marie's qualities, the only thing we don't know are her limits,” said Jocelyn Prêcheur, the PSG coach who qualified for the quarter-final of the Women's Champions League, just like OL.

Since November 19, “MAK” has recorded 14 goals and provided 3 assists.

Her attacking teammate, Sandy Baltimore, is also back to her best level, once again becoming at 23 one of the most decisive players this season with Paris (7 goals in all competitions).

As for the goalkeepers, Constance Picaud, named N.1 goalkeeper by Hervé Renard after the World Cup ahead of Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, should return to the Blue cages.

In the event of qualification for the final, the Blues will travel to Spain or the Netherlands to try to get a first title a few months before the Olympic Games in Paris. The two finalists will qualify for the Olympics. If France is present in the final, it is the victorious nation in the match for third place which will obtain the second ticket.

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