Domenech concentrating on Euro qualifiers

2nd February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 1, 2007 (AFP) - France coach Raymond Domenech pulled no surprises as he named his 22-man sqaud to play a friendly match against Argentina in Paris on February 7.


PARIS, Feb 1, 2007 (AFP) - France coach Raymond Domenech pulled no surprises as he named his 22-man sqaud to play a friendly match against Argentina in Paris on February 7.

As expected, Marseille's on-loan Liverpool forward Djibril Cisse was welcomed back into the fold as Domenech insisted this match was all about preparation for March's Euro 2008 qualifiers.

And one player who looks certain to feature is Juventus forward David Trezeguet, who Domenech said needs a confidence booster after missing the vital penalty that handed Italy the World Cup last July.

Playing in this match holds special significance for Trezeguet, whose parents are both Argentine.

"I imagine this match pulls at his heart-strings," said Domenech. "There are those who suffered from not playing at the World Cup. His pain is another degree higher than that.

"He took the penalty that handed the World Cup to Italy. He needs a confidence-boost. I am expecting a lot from him during this qualification campaign."

Domenech has a mini-defensive crisis to cope with as Arsenal's William Gallas and Juventus centre-half Jean-Alain Boumsong are both out.

So too is Barcelona's Liliam Thuram, who has a sore calf, although he was included in the squad for his motivational powers.

That move brought stinging criticism from Thuram's club-mate Ludovic Giuly, who is not in the squad.

"Thuram hasn't trained all week. I can't understand how he can play against Argentina. He still has pain in his claf," said Giuly.

That is unlikely to discourage Domenech, though, as the French coach has made a reputation for toughness and forcing players to join up with the squad, even in the case of prior retirement.

His biggest selection poser will be who to start in the centre of defence with Roma's Philippe Mexes, Lyon's Sebastien Squilacci and Monaco's Gael Givet pressing for the two starting berths.

Manchester United's injured forward Louis Saha has been dropped from the squad but Bolton's Nicolas Anelka is included.
  

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Gregory Coupet (Lyon), Mickael Landreau (PSG)

Defenders: Eric Abidal (Lyon), Francois Clerc (Lyon), Julien Escude (Sevilla/ESP), Patrice Evra (Manchester United/ENG), Gael Givet (Monaco), Philippe Mexes (Roma/ITA), Willy Sagnol (Bayern Munich/GER), Sebastien Squilacci (Monaco), Lilian Thuram (Barcelona/ESP)

Midfielders: Claude Makelele (Chelsea/ENG), Rio Mavuba (Bordeaux), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon), Patrick Vieira (Inter Milan/ITA), Sidney Govou (Lyon), Florent Malouda (Lyon), Franck Ribery (Marseille)

Forwards: Nicolas Anelka (Bolton/ENG), Djibril Cisse (Marseille), Thierry Henry (Arsenal/ENG), David Trezeguet (Juventus/ITA)

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Football

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