England, who top their World Cup qualifying group by two points with four rounds of matches remaining, have named a strong yet experimental line-up for the friendly at the Stade de France.
It had been suggested that Stones could be deployed in midfield but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain slots in alongside Eric Dier behind a front three of Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.
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"John Stones plays in a back three, we need composure at the back. We need to build from defence, the system gives us options,'' Southgate said to ITV pre-match.
It will also be a big night for Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kieran Trippier, who starts for the first time for his national team.

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France XI: Lloris, Mendy, Umtiti, Varane, Sidibe, Lemar, Pogba, Kante, Dembele, Giroud, Mbappe.
England XI: Heaton, Trippier, Jones, Cahill, Stones, Bertrand, Dier, Dele Alli, Sterling, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kane.
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