Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby ruled out of France's World Cup play-off second leg with Ireland

By Sportsmail Reporter Last updated at 3:52 PM on 16th November 2009

Abou Diaby has pulled out of France's World Cup playoff against Ireland, adding to coach Raymond Domenech's growing injury list.

Diaby hurt his left calf playing for Arsenal against Wolves in the Premier League earlier this month, and the French football federation said on Monday that Diaby has left the camp.

Midfielder Jeremy Toulalan (groin) and defender Eric Abidal (thigh) are also out injured and will miss Wednesday's match at Stade de France. Les Blues won the first leg 1-0 in Dublin on Saturday.

Abou Diaby (centre) in action for Arsenal

In form: Abou Diaby (centre) in action for Arsenal earlier this season

France struggled to find any consistency in defence throughout their fraught qualifying campaign, where they finished second in their group behind Serbia, and Abidal's injury will force Domenech to revise his plans once more.

During Saturday's match at Croke Park, Abidal played alongside William Gallas for the third consecutive match. It was the first time in 18 months that France had fielded the same two central defenders for three straight games.

Domenech has tried seven different centre-half pairings since France went out of Euro 2008 in the group stages without winning a match.

William Gallas

Tough: William Gallas (left) will be without defensive partner Eric Abidal in Paris

During the qualifiers, France were regularly troubled by free kicks and corners, a strong point for Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland team.

With Abidal out, Domenech may choose Julien Escude alongside Gallas, even though Escude scored an own goal in the 1-1 draw against Romania in September, turning a cross into his own net when under little pressure.

Alternatively, he could pick Sebastien Squillaci. With Diaby and Toulalan both out, Domenech has no cover in central midfield for Alou Diarra and Lassana Diarra.

Domenech overlooked Patrick Vieira for the two-legged playoff, even though he is back playing regularly for Inter Milan. 

 


 

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