Outgoing Tottenham Hotspur striker Louis Saha has tipped England to lose their opening Euro 2012 game against France without Wayne Rooney.
The Manchester United star will miss his nation’s first two Group D games, against Les Bleus and Sweden, after receiving his marching orders against Montenegro in England’s final qualifier last October for a petulant kick aimed at Miodrag Dzudovic.
The 26-year-old’s suspension was initially for all three group matches, but it was reduced by UEFA by one game after an appeal from the FA, but Saha feels his former Manchester United team-mate’s absence will be felt.
“We can take heart from the absence of Rooney,” he told The Sun.
“Frankly, this gives us more of a chance. Wayne is a huge talent. It does us a lot of good to know he won’t be there against France.”
And Saha, went on to warn that Real Madrid hit-man Karim Benzema, who scored 32 goals in all competitions for the Spanish champions last season, will be a constant menace to the England defence.
“I think it will be a beautiful victory for Les Bleus. I see a double from Benzema or, at least, I’m hoping for that,” he said.
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