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By ESPN Staff

France defence hit by injuries before friendlies

PARIS, Aug 20 (Reuters) - France will be without defenders William Gallas, Lilian Thuram and Julien Escude for this week's friendlies against Slovakia's A and B teams after the three players pulled out injured.

'These players have seen the team's medical staff and are out,' the French Football Federation (FFF) said on its website on Monday.

Gallas picked up a groin injury in Arsenal's 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League on Sunday and will be sidelined for three weeks, his club said.

Escude has a groin injury and Thuram has an ankle problem, the FFF said.

On Sunday, Paris St Germain midfielder Jerome Rothen pulled out of the squad because of a groin injury.

Coach Raymond Domenech had enlarged his squad to 36 players when he called up Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre and PSG defender Zoumana Camara.

With Gallas, Escude and Thuram out, the squad is down to 33 men as Domenech does not plan to call up other players.

Revised squad:

Goalkeepers: Sebastien Frey (Fiorentina), Mickael Landreau (Paris St Germain), Ulrich Rame (Girondins Bordeaux), Teddy Richert (Sochaux).

Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Jean-Alain Boumsong (Juventus), Francois Clerc (Olympique Lyon), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Gael Givet (Olympique Marseille), Philippe Mexes (AS Roma), Anthony Reveillere (Olympique Lyon), Bakary Sagna (Arsenal), Sebastien Squillaci (Olympique Lyon), Jonathan Zebina (Juventus), Mikael Silvestre (Manchester United), Zoumana Camara (Paris St Germain)

Midfielders: Jeremy Mathieu (Toulouse), Alou Diarra (Girondins Bordeaux), Lassana Diarra (Chelsea), Claude Makelele (Chelsea), Florent Malouda (Chelshea), Rio Mavuba (Villarreal), Samir Nasri (Marseille), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Jeremy Toulalan (Olympique Lyon), Patrick Vieira (Inter Milan).

Forwards: Nicolas Anelka (Bolton), Karim Benzema (Olympique Lyon), Jimmy Briand (Stade Rennes), Djibril Cisse (Olympique Marseille), Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Frederic Piquionne (Monaco), David Trezeguet (Juventus).