Duo miss French friendly
© AFP

France coach Raymond Domenech has omitted Marseille's Hatem Ben Arfa and Chelsea winger Florent Malouda from a 23-man squad to face Uruguay in a friendly on 19 November.

Ben Arfa's absence was part of the rotation policy, Domenech said, while Malouda loses out because of competition down the left flank but remained in contention for playing a second friendly against Argentina on 11 February.

The friendly was a chance to "continue building the team" ahead of back-to-back FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers against Lithuania on 28 March and four days later, which Domenech said could be the turning point of qualification.

"I won't say they'll be 'decisive" but they could be turning points," he said. "There are two friendlies against Uruguay and Argentina which will help us towards that."

One surprise inclusion in the squad was Caen striker Steve Savidan. "He's one of those whom we want to see at the highest level," said Domenech.

"We've seen him for some time in the championship, we want to see whether he can establish that at a high level, we want to see him with other internationals, how he carries himself, how he grows. It's up to him to show us something."

Domenech added that no decision had been taken on which of the three goalkeepers: Steve Mandanda, Hugo Lloris or Yohann Pele, would start the game.