Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Injuries pile up for France ahead of friendly match against England

Injuries pile up for France ahead of friendly match against England

France will be without captain Patrick Vieira and strikers Thierry Henry, Louis Saha and Karim Benzema for its friendly against England on Wednesday.
France coach Raymond Domenech put the spate of injuries down to a hectic schedule with many high-profile games coming in quick succession.
"It's often like this at this time of year," Domenech said. "It's a difficult period, with the crowded calendar. I am impatient to go to training to see how many players are in shorts and how many are in the ambulance."
None of the injuries are serious, however, and Domenech hopes the players will be fit by the time he names his squad for the European Championship in early May.
"I am not worried now because we are only at the end of March," he said. "At this time of the year, it is not catastrophic. In one month's time, it could be."
Juventus striker David Trezeguet comes back into the France squad for the first time since September 2007.
"I am very happy (for Trezeguet)," Vieira said Monday. "He is having a great season and is scoring a lot of goals."
Trezeguet leads the Italian league in scoring with 17 goals and is also France's third all-time highest scorer with 34 goals.
"I know what the French team represents for Trezeguet," said Vieira, who has a sore thigh and won't be available until this weekend for his club Inter Milan.
Domenech had not selected Trezeguet since the 1-0 home loss to Scotland in Euro 2008 qualifying. Now, three months ahead of the tournament, Trezeguet has another chance to stake his claim.
Domenech maintains the 30-year-old Trezeguet, who featured rarely as a substitute at the 2006 World Cup, can still make the final squad and insists he is not lower down the pecking order of strikers.
"I've never had rankings, except for goalkeepers," Domenech said. "It's a question of competition for places. There are choices to make at a certain time. We don't know what the situation will be in three month's time. I already know what his abilities are."
Benzema hurt his knee in Lyon's 4-2 win on Sunday over Paris Saint-Germain. Henry and Saha pulled out for undisclosed reasons.
Benzema fell awkwardly when jumping for the ball for Lyon in its 4-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the French league at the weekend. Lyon said Benzema has sprained ligaments in his left knee.
"Because of this injury, he should be absent for two to three weeks," Lyon said on its Web site.
Midfielder Mathieu Valbuena (groin strain), goalkeeper Sebastien Frey (gastroenteritis), and Arsenal defender Bakary Sagna (ankle injury) are also out of the France squad.
Portsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra is also doubtful with a sore thigh.
Henry's absence means Lens striker Loic Remy, on loan from Lyon, gets his first call-up to the squad and could feature alongside Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Jimmy Briand in France's "B" international against Mali on Tuesday.
That leaves Nicolas Anelka likely to lead France's attack against England, possibly alongside Trezeguet.
"I have played a lot of times with Trezeguet before," Anelka said. "It has always gone well. He is a player who likes goals. He has different qualities to Thierry (Henry) and Karim (Benzema). But I know we get on well together on the field."
Domenech had hoped to see Valbuena play before naming his 23-man squad by early May. But because the Marseille player is out injured, that means Domenech would be taking an untried player if he calls up Valbuena for Euro 2008.
He did the same thing when he called up Franck Ribery for his World Cup squad two years ago, and the Bayern Munich winger has since become a regular for Les Bleus.
At Euro 2008, France will be pitted in Group C against Romania, the Netherlands and Italy.


Updated : 2021-10-17 12:47 GMT+08:00