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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Thuram, Makelele back for France qualifiers

PARIS, Aug 24 (Reuters) - France recalled Barcelona defender Liliam Thuram and Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele for their first Euro 2008 qualifying games against Georgia and Italy.

In a third change to the squad who defeated Bosnia 2-1 in a friendly earlier this month, coach Raymond Domenech also recalled Lyon striker Sidney Govou.

AS Roma defender Philipope Mexes and midfielders Julien Faubert (Girondins Bordeaux) and Jeremy Toulalan (Olympique Lyon) have been dropped.

Thuram, who is France's most experienced player with a record 121 caps, had been mulling over his future since last month's World Cup final loss to Italy but said on Wednesday he was available for selection.

Makelele announced his international retirement after the World Cup after making 50 appearances for Les Bleus. However, Domenech said on Wednesday he spoke with him in an effort to convince him to continue his international career.

France will visit Georgia on Sept. 2 before hosting Italy at the Stade de France four days later.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Gregory Coupet (Olympique Lyon), Mickael Landreau (Paris St Germain).

Defenders: Eric Abidal (Olympique Lyon), Jean-Alain Boumsong (Juventus), Francois Clerc (Olympique Lyon), William Gallas (Chelsea), Gael Givet (Monaco), Willy Sagnol (Bayern Munich), Liliam Thuram (Barcelona).

Midfielders: Alou Diarra (Racing Lens), Claude Makelele (Chelsea), Florent Malouda (Olympique Lyon), Rio Mavuba (Girondins Bordeaux), Patrick Vieira (Inter Milan).

Strikers: Sidney Govou (Olympique Lyon), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Franck Ribery (Olympique Marseille), Louis Saha (Manchester United), David Trezeguet (Juventus), Sylvain Wiltord (Olympique Lyon).