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Arsenal must end season on a high

By ESPN Staff

France call for veterans Savidan and Silvestre

Caen striker Steve Savidan has been called up by France for the first time for next week's international friendly against Uruguay in Paris.

The 30-year-old is in free-scoring form and is one of five out-and-out strikers in Raymond Domenech's 23-man squad for next Wednesday's match.

Elsewhere, Mickael Silvestre, currently fit and playing for Arsenal at centre-back, returns after a long absence but there is no place for left-winger Florent Malouda despite being in good form for Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Florent Sinama-Pongolle, who was called up last month for the matches against Romania and Tunisia, does not figure but fellow striker Jimmy Briand is back involved.

And central defender Julien Escude also returns after recovering from injury.

On the selection of Savidan, a scorer of six goals in Ligue 1 this season, Domenech said: "It is his first time in an enlarged list and I want to see what he is capable of doing."

The absence of Malouda is a surprise, especially since there are no other left-wingers named in the squad, although Samir Nasri, Thierry Henry and Karim Benzema are all capable of playing there.

"I have confidence in his ability and he is showing some interesting things at Chelsea but it is my choice and I am going with form of the moment," Domenech added.

Silvestre's career has been relaunched since his surprise move from Manchester United to Arsenal this summer and Domenech said: "It (centre-back) is a post where there are choices to be made. Mikael is playing again and he brings experience there."

France squad:

Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Yohann Pele (Le Mans); Gael Clichy (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), William Gallas, Bacary Sagna (both Arsenal), Julien Escude (Sevilla), Rod Fanni (Rennes), Philippe Mexes (Roma), Mikael Silvestre (Arsenal); Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth), J Toulalan (Lyon), Patrick Vieira (Internazionale, capt); Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Jimmy Briand (Rennes), Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Karim Benzema (Lyon), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Samir Nasri (Arsenal), Steve Savidan (Caen).


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