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Gourcuff back in France fold

Lyon midfielder Yoann Gourcuff has been recalled to the France squad for an international friendly with Italy next Wednesday.

Gourcuff, 26, last played for France in May as a substitute in a 3-2 international friendly victory over Iceland but failed to make the cut for Euro 2012. He has not started a game for France since a 2-0 win over Luxembourg in March 2011.

The midfielder's season so far has been severely affected by a knee injury, with just three Ligue 1 appearances to his name, but Didier Deschamps believes he is ready to return to the international fold.

"He is a player able to make others good," Deschamps said. "I want to see him in this squad."

Hugo Lloris, Gael Clichy, Patrice Evra, Laurent Koscielny, Yohan Cabaye and Olivier Giroud are the Premier League players called up as Samir Nasri is again overlooked by Deschamps. Lille's Dimitri Payet is also back in the squad.

But Deschamps explained he does expect Spurs goalkeeper Lloris to be playing more regularly. "Lloris has not enough playing time," he said. "But he still has one game per week. For sure, it's an annoying case for him."

Karim Benzema is ruled out with a groin injury.

Goalkeepers: Mickael Landreau (Lille), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Olympique Marseille)

Defenders: Gael Clichy (Manchester City), Mathieu Debuchy (Lille), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Christophe Jallet (Paris St Germain), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Adil Rami (Valencia), Mamadou Sakho (Paris St Germain), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier)

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle), Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Yoann Gourcuff (Olympique Lyon), Maxime Gonalons (Olympique Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (Paris St Germain), Moussa Sissoko (Toulouse), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique Marseille)

Forwards: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Bafetimbi Gomis (Olympique Lyon), Jeremy Menez (Paris St Germain), Dimitri Payet (Lille), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)


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