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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Domenech to select 'New Zidane' Nasri

Domenech to select 'New Zidane' Nasri
eenage Olympique Marseille midfielder Samir Nasri seems poised to make his France debut in Wednesday's friendly against Austria at the Stade de France.

Coach Raymond Domenech stopped short of naming his team on Tuesday but did say there would be surprises. 'I'm capable of everything,' Domenech told reporters. 'If the players are in the squad it is because I know they are capable of playing.'

Sports daily L'Equipe said that Domenech had already made up his mind to play Nasri. The 19-year-old is of Algerian descent, grew up in a rough Marseille suburb and has an abundance of skill, all qualities reminiscent of former captain Zinedine Zidane.

According to L'Equipe, Philippe Mexes will team up with captain Lilian Thuram in central defence with Francois Clerc and Julien Escude at full back. Chelsea's Lassana Diarra and Arsenal's Abou Diaby, who won their first caps in Saturday's 1-0 Euro 2008 qualifying win in Lithuania, were expected to start alongside Rio Mavuba and Nasri in midfield with Djibril Cisse and Nicolas Anelka up front.
Probable team: Gregory Coupet; Francois Clerc, Philippe Mexes, Lilian Thuram, Julien Escude; Lassana Diarra, Rio Mavuba, Abou Diaby, Samir Nasri; Djibril Cisse, Nicolas Anelka.