I think the first two names are the ones that should be left off the list. Here is why:
- Yanga-Mbiwa - he has a good future with the senior squad showing what he can do this season for Ligue 1 champion Montpellier. However I think that in a pinch Blanc is going to lean on some veterans to provide cover at central defense (Mbiwa has not played a single minute for the senior squad). If he has to go to his #4 center back France has bigger problems! Diarra and Evra could both slot in the middle in a pinch. I think that Blanc will want to keep that roster spot open for one of his offensive midfielders who will more likely play a role with the squad.
- Gourcuff - I just do not think he is 100% ready to showcase for the national side again. As I mentioned in my last post, I feel the Lyon midfielder is a gear or two slow when it comes to the way Les Bleus are playing these days. Gourcuff needs more time to recover with regards to his game and his physical health. Because of that I do not think that Blanc should carry him on the roster when he could instead keep the likes of Martin who, while did not have a great season at Sochaux, remains a spark plug that can turn a game on its ear as a substitute.
Matuidi might be on the outside looking in, but I think that Blanc will want to keep 3 pure holding midfielders, I know that Malouda can slot deeper and Cabaye can play that role. However both these players are more geared to the offense. Valbuena and his ability to play both wings is a valuable component - much like Martin can offer a late game change of pace. Evra, for not showing well yesterday remains a veteran - something that Blanc values.
We will see...does Blanc favor his binky (Gourcuff), take chances with his center back depth?