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Domenech prepared to give Vieira time

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 6 Jun 2008

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France captain Patrick Vieira has until Sunday – the eve of their first match at Euro 2008 with Romania – to prove his fitness reiterated coach Raymond Domenech on Friday.

The 31-year-old Inter Milan and former Arsenal star – capped 105 times – suffered a left thigh injury last week which left him as a major doubt to make the finals – AC Milan signing Mathieu Flamini was called up as a potential replacement should he not make it – but surprisingly he trained in a non-contact training session with the squad on Thursday.

“I will wait till the last moment, the latest possible,” said Domenech.

“It wasn't planned during the training session that he jump and tackle, it was always going to be a relaxed session.

“However, today (Friday) it is on the menu that we tackle, jump and sprint.

“If he gets through that, it will be a good sign. But there is also another training session on Saturday (behind closed doors).”

Vieira's loss to the squad would be a huge blow – the equivalent as to Italy having lost their captain Fabio Cannavaro – both in terms of inspiration and ability having been capped 105 times and is one of the few remaining members of the squad to have been in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 winning sides.

While Flamini has been called in as a replacement for Vieira should he fail to make it, it is more likely that Lyon's Jeremy Toulalan will fill his place in the starting line-up.

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