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French sweating on Vieira

Published: Thursday 24 June 2004, 21.13CET
France's Patrick Vieira is a serious doubt for the quarter-final against Greece after he missed training with a thigh strain.
by Christophe Kukawka
from Lisbon
 
Published: Thursday 24 June 2004, 21.13CET

French sweating on Vieira

France's Patrick Vieira is a serious doubt for the quarter-final against Greece after he missed training with a thigh strain.

France midfield player Patrick Vieira is a serious doubt for the UEFA EURO 2004™ quarter-final against Greece on Friday after he missed training with a strained thigh muscle.

Dacourt waiting
The 28-year-old picked up the injury in France's final Group B match against Switzerland and looks likely to be replaced by Olivier Dacourt in the Lisbon encounter. Centre-back William Gallas also skipped training on Wednesday after twisting his left ankle against the Swiss, but is expected to be available for selection.

Tough test
Coach Jacques Santini believes his team will face a tough test against Greece, whom he expects to sit back, defend deep and try to catch his side on the counterattack. "We will not underestimate Otto Rehhagel's team," Santini said. "This quarter-final will be as tough against Greece as it would have been versus Portugal or Spain.

Caution required
"Everyone tipped Portugal and Spain to qualify but it was Greece who progressed. Before the tournament started, everyone asked who would challenge Italy - so let's be cautious."

'Defend together'
Captain Marcel Desailly echoed his coach's sentiments but hinted at the holders' winning formula. "We have to work and all make the effort to defend together," he said. "We saw against Switzerland that Thierry Henry can profit from the spaces generated by this defence."

 
Last updated: 25/06/04 13.53CET

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