Hennessey, Williams, Ledley and Cabaye all earn call-ups
Yohan Cabaye moved to the Eagles in the summer hoping regular game time in the Premier League would solidify his spot in Didier Deschamps’ France squad, and he has been named in the hosts’ final 23-man list.
Cabaye, having signed from Paris Saint Germain, has been a key player for Alan Pardew’s side this season and will compete for a starting berth with the likes of Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi, Lassana Diarra, N’Golo Kante and Moussa Sissoko.
Wales trio looking to make up for lost time, while Cabaye hoping Palace form has earned him starting role
Welsh midfielder Ledley had originally been a doubt for the tournament having suffered a fractured fibula during the penultimate game of the season, although has since proved his fitness to Coleman, who given him a place on the plane.
Williams’ career has stumbled since he burst onto the scene as a tricky and agile 17-year-old midfielder, with several long-term injuries stalling his development. Now 22, the Eagles academy graduate could use the tournament to put himself in the shop window having grown surplus to requirements at Selhurst Park.
Hennessey had a difficult start to life at Palace; Julian Speroni kept him out of the side for the majority of his first 18 months at the club, before summer signing Alex McCarthy was fast-tracked to the starting role at the beginning of the season. However, several costly errors led to Pardew replacing McCarthy with Hennessey and the former Wolverhampton Wanderers shot-stopper has been ever-present since and will also go to the tournament as Wales’ number one goalkeeper.
Cabaye’s France are one of the favourites to win the tournament, with home advantage a big factor for Deschamps’ side. The French did not have to take part in qualification due to their hosting, but have been in terrific form in the pre-tournament friendlies, winning three of their last three matches since their 2-0 defeat to England at Wembley Stadium.
Wales go into the tournament as potential dark horses, despite this being their first major tournament since 1958, as well as being their first-ever appearance at a European Championship. Their route to qualification appeared to be difficult, with Belgium and Bosnia & Herzegovina making up their group, but they came runners-up behind the Red Devils - largely due to the form of star man Gareth Bale.
France kick-off their campaign on the opening day of the tournament, facing Romania in Lens on 10 June, while Wales’ first game is against Slovakia in Bordeaux the following day.