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Kotoko's rise continues as Hearts' unbeaten run ends

Football
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By ESPN Staff

Cisse back in France squad to face Argentina

PARIS, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Olympique Marseille striker Djibril Cisse has been recalled by France coach Raymond Domenech to face Argentina in a friendly next week eight months to the day after breaking his leg in a World Cup warm-up game against China.

The 25-year-old returned to competitive football in December, scoring twice in six Ligue 1 matches for Marseille.

'He is not at his best yet but he had to be there (in the squad),' said Domenech.

'We had to choose between looking for new players and preparing for the Lithuania game. We opted for the second option,' he added, referring to France's next Euro 2008 qualifier in Lithuania on March 24.

France are second in Group B level on nine points with leaders Scotland and two points ahead of Italy after four matches.

Former Liverpool striker Cisse, who has scored nine times in 30 appearances for Les Bleus, has been included in a strong list of forwards for next Wednesday's friendly at the Stade de France.

Nicolas Anelka, Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet have also been named in the squad.

Domenech left out goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, who quit soccer following last year's World Cup final defeat on penalties by Italy before resuming his career at struggling Nantes in mid-December.

The France coach added that Barcelona centre back Lilian Thuram, who is nursing a minor thigh injury, was doubtful for the game.

'The important thing is to bring everyone together and Lilian is one of the key members of this squad so he had to be there,' he said.

France have not played World Cup quarter-finalists Argentina since a 2-0 victory in Paris on March 26 1986 with goals by Jean-Marc Ferreri and Philippe Vercruysse.

Goalkeepers:

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

Defenders:

Eric Abidal (Olympique Lyon), Francois Clerc (Olympique Lyon), Julien Escude (Sevilla), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Gael Givet (Monaco), Philippe Mexes (AS Roma), Willy Sagnol (Bayern Munich), Sebastien Squillaci (Olympique Lyon), Lilian Thuram (Barcelona)

Midfielders:

Claude Makelele (Chelsea), Rio Mavuba (Girondins Bordeaux), Jeremy Toulalan (Olympique Lyon), Patrick Vieira (Inter Milan)

Forwards:

Nicolas Anelka (Bolton Wanderers), Djibril Cisse (Olympique Marseille), Sidney Govou (Olympique Lyon), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Florent Malouda (Olympique Lyon), Franck Ribery (Olympique Marseille), David Trezeguet (Juventus)