Ben Arfa named in preliminary France squad

Hatem Ben Arfa, who won the last of his eight France caps in a 2-1 defeat by Norway in 2010, was named by coach Laurent Blanc on Wednesday in a preliminary squad of overseas-based players for Euro 2012 next month.

The Newcastle United forward was included in a 12-man list that also featured club-mate Yohan Cabaye and Tottenham Hotspur defender Younes Kaboul.

The skilful Ben Arfa, 25, has been in sparkling form this season and produced two wonder goals against Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers.

"His [Ben Arfa's] speed and dribbling abilities can be an asset for us," Blanc told Eurosport.

France, who have until May 29 to unveil their final 23-man squad, will name their preliminary selection of Ligue 1-based players on Tuesday.

Blanc left out Queens Park Rangers striker Djibril Cisse on Wednesday.

He picked four centre-backs in Kaboul, Laurent Koscielny, Philippe Mexes and Adil Rami - reducing the chances of Paris Saint-Germain's Mamadou Sakho featuring in Tuesday's selection.

The squad are scheduled to gather at the Clairefontaine training camp on May 18.

France will play three warmup friendlies against Iceland in Valenciennes on May 27, Serbia in Reims four days later and Estonia in Le Mans on June 5.

Blanc's team are in Group D alongside England, Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine.

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).