Fabregas also started against Italy in the defending champions' first group match that ended in a 1-1 draw, sparking criticism against Vicente del Bosque for fielding a team without a recognized striker.
To combat Spain's strength in midfield, France has dropped forwards Samir Nasri and Hatem Ben Arfa, preferring to move right back into midfield. Karim Benzema is the lone striker.
Yohan Cabaye and Florent Malouda return in midfield alongside Yann M'Vila, while Laurent Koscielny replaces the suspended Philippe Mexes at center back. Anthony Reveillere is at right back.