France have drafted Lille's Rio Mavuba to replace Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby, who has withdrawn from the squad due to a hip problem ahead of Wednesday's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifier against Lithuania at the Stade de France.
France are out to do the double over the Baltic side after their 1-0 victory in Kaunas last Saturday to smooth their path to South Africa 2010. A win would see Raymond Domenech's leapfrog the Lithuanians and move into second place in Group 7.
That would set up Les Bleus nicely for their September encounter with group leaders Serbia, who are on 12 points compared to France's seven with the 1998 winners and 2006 finalists enjoying a game in hand.
The absence of Diaby is a headache for Domenech, who is already missing Jeremy Toulalan as the Lyon midfielder is suspended after picking up his second yellow card in Kaunas following the one he received in last October's 2-2 draw with Romania.
As well as the inexperienced Mavuba, France could also call on Bordeaux's Alou Diarra to work alongside Lassana Diarra with Toulalan unavailable. Mavuba has won six caps but last appeared two years ago in a friendly win over Austria.