Trio return to Domenech's Les Bleus squad

August 28, 2008

Samir Nasri, Sebastien Squillaci and Eric Abidal have been recalled to the France squad for next week's double-header against Austria and Serbia.

Les Bleus coach Raymond Domenech has named a 22-man group, but has made only minor alterations to the party of 20 he named for last week's friendly against Sweden.

Playmaker Nasri, who has enjoyed a strong start to life at new side Arsenal, is included after missing out on initial selection for the Sweden match.

He was eventually called up by Domenech for that game when Hatem Ben Arfa pulled out injured, but then withdrew himself on the eve of the friendly with a groin injury.

Barcelona left-back Abidal is back involved after being left out of the last squad because he was suspended.

He remains banned, as a result of his red card against Italy in Euro 2008, for the friendly against Austria in Vienna next Wednesday but will be available for the World Cup qualifier against the Serbs the following Saturday in Paris.

Centre-back Squillaci, who moved from Lyon to Sevilla in the summer, takes the place of Jean-Alain Boumsong among the defenders.

Willy Sagnol (Achilles), Francois Clerc (knee), Franck Ribery (ankle) and Patrick Vieira (groin) are all missing because of injury.

There was speculation Paris St Germain midfielder Claude Makelele could be brought out of international retirement by Domenech but the former Chelsea star is not included.

Domenech has again picked just two goalkeepers in his squad so there is still no place for Gregory Coupet, the starting custodian in the Euros who moved to Atletico Madrid in the close season.

On-loan Bordeaux forward Yoann Gourcuff, who came off the bench for a few minutes of action against Sweden in Gothenburg, makes his second appearance in the France squad.

The Serbia match will be France's first World Cup 2010 qualifying match.

Squad:

Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille); Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Gael Clichy (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Rod Fanni (Rennes), William Gallas (Arsenal), Philippe Mexes (Roma), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla); Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth), Mathieu Flamini (AC Milan), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon); Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Hatem Ben Arfa (Marseille), Karim Benzema (Lyon), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Sidney Govou (Lyon), Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Samir Nasri (Arsenal).