Football

Didier Deschamps bothered by Olivier Giroud’s lack of playing time

France coach Didier Deschamps has expressed his concerns over the limited playing time that Olivier Giroud is getting at Chelsea.

Tammy Abraham's red-hot form - the 22-year-old has scored nine goals for the Blues this season - means Giroud has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

Last month, the 33-year-old played only 18 minutes for Chelsea, having missed some games through illness as well.

Ahead of their Euro 2020 qualifier against Iceland tomorrow morning (Singapore time), Deschamps has warned Giroud that he could lose his place with Les Bleus unless he can play more regularly with the Blues.

"This is a situation that is not the best either for him or for us," Deschamps said in an interview with French radio station RMC.

"Since the last international window, he has had a very limited playing time, even if he had a virus that prevented him to play three matches.

"He remains on good performances with us, he is the third-highest scorer, but I wish that this situation can change.

"He cannot be at his best if he does not play a minimum number of games."

Deschamps will be without Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who is out for the year after dislocating his elbow, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe.

Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda will deputise in goal for the game in Reykjavik.

The hosts, who lost 4-0 to France in Paris in March, will also not be at full strength as midfielder Aron Gunnarsson has been ruled out with injury.

Iceland coach Erik Hamren has called up two free agents - midfielders Emil Hallfredsson, who last played for Udinese, and Birkir Bjarnason, who left Aston Villa in May.

Football