Diaby back in France fold
Midfielder earns recall; Menez also gets nod after ban
Last Updated: 29/08/12 3:00pm
Abou Diaby: Back to fitness and back in the France squad
France coach Didier Deschamps has recalled Abou Diaby and Jeremy Menez for the World Cup qualifiers against Finland and Belarus in early September.
Diaby's last competitive match for France was against Belarus in a European Championship qualifier in June last year.
The powerful midfielder missed Euro 2012 after injuries restricted him to four substitute appearances for Arsenal in the Premier League.
However, he has started both league games for Arsenal this season and Deschamps is happy to welcome him back into the fold.
"Diaby has enormous potential. He had a disastrous season last year, but he has done a full pre-season and has played 90 minutes," Deschamps said.
"He is a very fragile player but he seems to be on the right track and I hope that nothing will hold him back now."
Paris St Germain forward Menez was banned for one national team game after a hearing into confrontations with both Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli and his own goalkeeper Hugo Lloris during the Euro 2012 quarter-final loss to Spain.
He was one of four players punished for their conduct during the tournament, with Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri still serving a three-match ban and midfielders Yann M'Vila and Hatem Ben Arfa also sitting out the August 15th friendly against Uruguay despite escaping with warnings.
The latter pair have also not been included in a 23-man group for next month's qualifying double-header, but coach Didier Deschamps has recalled Menez at the first opportunity following his suspension.
The 25-year-old joins Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich, Arsenal's summer signing Olivier Giroud and Lyon's Bafetimbi Gomis among Deschamps' attacking options for his first competitive game in charge, with Jimmy Briand and Dimitri Payet dropping out from the squad which faced Uruguay.
Lille's Marvin Martin is not involved in midfield, with Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye back in the squad after injury.
Adil Rami and Anthony Reveillere are back in defence in place of Lille full-back Mathieu Debuchy, who is suffering with a heel injury, and Real Madrid youngster Raphael Varane.
Lille's Mickael Landreau has been added as the third goalkeeper alongside Lloris and Steve Mandanda.
Landreau (Lille),Lloris (Lyon), Mandanda (Marseille); Clichy (Manchester City), Evra (Manchester United), Jallet (Paris St Germain), Koscielny (Arsenal), Rami (Valencia), Reveillere (Lyon), Sakho (Paris St Germain), Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier); Cabaye (Newcastle), Capoue (Toulouse), Diaby (Arsenal), Gonalons (Lyon), Matuidi (Paris St Germain), Mavuba (Lille), Valbuena (Marseille); Benzema (Real Madrid), Giroud (Arsenal), Gomis (Lyon), Menez (Paris St Germain), Ribery (Bayern Munich)