Pedretti and Pires named by French
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Coach Jacques Santini has named a 20-man party for the game in Paris next Wednesday and the inclusion of Pedretti comes as a surprise.
Both he and Ludovic Giuly were called up as late replacements for France's last game against Yugoslavia in November, but Pedretti's inclusion from the off is a shock.
The 22-year-old has been very impressive in Le Championnat this season and already the likes of Juventus and Internazionale are rumoured to looking at him.
His call-up into the full international squad last year raised his profile and his value, and the youngster's burgeoning reputation is now making him known to Europe's elite.
Monaco midfielder Giuly has also impressed enough to retain his place in the squad, but unlike Pedretti - Lens' Daniel Moreira does not get the chance to add to his first cap.
There was no room for Lyon trio Jeremie Brechet, Eric Carriere and Sidney Govou, while Auxerre's Olivier Kapo is injured and so does not get the chance to add to his international tally, after scoring his first French goal against the Yugoslavs.
Pires, meanwhile, is back in the squad for the first time since his cruciate knee ligament injury just before the World Cup finals last year.
The Arsenal man is now back to his scintillating best and, as expected, is included by Santini.
David Trezeguet and Bixente Lizarazu also returned to the squad after recent injuries.
Full squad: Fabien Barthez (Manchester United), Gregory Coupet (Lyon), Marcel Desailly (Chelsea), William Gallas (Chelsea), Bixente Lizarazu (Bayern Munich), Philippe Mexes (Auxerre), Mikael Silvestre (Manchester United), Lilian Thuram (Juventus), Ludovic Giuly (Monaco), Claude Makelele (Real Madrid), Benoit Pedretti (Sochaux), Emmanuel Petit (Chelsea), Robert Pires (Arsenal), Patrick Vieira (Arsenal), Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid), Djibril Cisse (Auxerre), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Steve Marlet (Fulham), David Trezeguet (Juventus), Sylvain Wiltord (Arsenal)