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2018 World Cup
By ESPN Staff

Ben Arfa out, Nasri in for Domenech's France

PARIS, August 18 (International Friendly) - Hatem Ben Arfa has been forced to pull out of France's squad ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Sweden in Gothenburg.

The Marseille winger picked up an adductor injury in Sunday's 4-0 win against Auxerre and, after assessment by Les Bleus' medical staff, has been withdrawn from the 20-man group.

Arsenal playmaker Samir Nasri has been called up by coach Raymond Domenech as a replacement.

Nasri, who scored on his Premier League debut for the Gunners at the weekend, was not selected in Domenech's original squad despite appearing for France in Euro 2008.

Ben Arfa, 21, believes his injury has come about as a result of OM's hectic early-season schedule.

'Physically I am tired,' said the summer signing from Lyon.

'Three matches in one week, that is not easy.'

Meanwhile, Domenech accepts he is a man under pressure as he begins a new chapter in his reign as France coach and admits he has no room for error.

'I am still motivated. I am more motivated than I am under pressure. But being under pressure is motivation in itself,' he said on the French Football Federation (FFF) website.

'I can't wait to get the players back, to get this machine back going again. For me, this is a true departure.

'I have a generation who will inject new blood into the squad, with players who have a precise objective, the 2010 World Cup.

'We are back fighting at a high level, with an army ready to attack.'

France, who play Sweden in Gothenburg, take on Austria on September 6 in their first World Cup qualifier.


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