uefa.com rounds up all the latest news regarding next week's friendlies involving 15 of the 16 UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifiers.
Ahead of their trip to Albania, Sweden have lost the services of Southampton FC midfield player Anders Svensson. A scan has revealed that the 27-year-old has a partially torn cruciate ligament and will be out of action for four to five weeks.
Svensson sustained the injury during Tuesday's Premiership match against Arsenal FC. "This is a bitter blow since it's been going really well lately.
All I can do is work hard to get back to my best as soon as possible," he said. Arsenal midfield player Fredrik Ljungberg is still recovering from a rib injury and will also miss out.
Woodgate ruled out
England defender Jonathan Woodgate's groin problem will force him to skip England's friendly with EURO 2004™ hosts Portugal at the Algarve stadium. Newcastle United FC manager Sir Bobby Robson said: "I have informed the England manager about him and he realises he can't pick him." Sven-Göran Eriksson will reveal his squad on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Club Atlético de Madrid's Greek striker Themistoklis Nikolaidis will sit out his country's friendly against fellow EURO 2004™ finalists Bulgaria in Athens after becoming a father earlier this month. The Hellenic Football Federation confirmed that coach Otto Rehhagel had ruled Nikolaidis out of his squad, which is due to be announced shortly.
Reigning European champions France will be without S.S. Lazio midfield player Ousmane Dabo for their friendly against Belgium. Dabo suffered an ankle injury during last Sunday's Serie A game against Parma AC and is sidelined for three weeks. The former Stade Rennais FC man is one of the newer faces in Jacques Santini's squad, having won three caps since June.
Giuly also out
Les Bleus are also shorn of AS Monaco FC midfield player Ludovic Giuly, whose foot injury has ruled him out for up to a month. The only EURO 2004™ qualifiers not in action next Wednesday are Russia, who are currently on tour in Japan.
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