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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 10 July, 2020

Ben Arfa named in France's provisional Euro 2012 squad

The Newcastle player has not featured for Laurent Blanc’s side since August 2010.

Ben Arfa has been in fine form for Newcastle this year.
Ben Arfa has been in fine form for Newcastle this year.

FRANCE HEAD COACH Laurent Blanc has included Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa in his provisional 12-man squad for Euro 2012.

The 25-year-old has not featured for Les Bleus since August 2010, when he came on as a substitute in the 2-1 friendly defeat against Norway in what was Blanc’s first match in charge of the national team.

Ben Arfa has been in impressive form at Newcastle this season after fully recovering from a broken tibia and fibula sustained in 2010-11, and has been rewarded with a place on Blanc’s first provisional list, which features only foreign-based players.

Team-mate Yohan Cabaye has also been named among eight Premier League players.

Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul, Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny, Manchester City pair Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri, Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and Chelsea winger Florent Malouda are all in the squad.

Real Madrid star Karim Benzema is the only striker on the roster.

The second provisional list, with players who ply their trade in France, will be revealed on May 15.

France will play friendly matches against Iceland, Serbia and Estonia before flying to Ukraine for Euro 2012.

The 1998 World Cup winners have been paired with Ukraine, Sweden and England in Group D, with their first match scheduled for June 11, against the Three Lions.

Preliminary squad of overseas-based players:

Defenders: Gael Clichy (Manchester City), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Younes Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Philippe Mexes (AC Milan), Adil Rami (Valencia)
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Samir Nasri (Manchester City)
Forwards: Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle United), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)

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