When the groups for the 2008 European Championships were announced, France and Italy surely didn’t expect to be in the position they are in now, ahead of their last group match.
After a scoreless draw with Romania and the 4-1 crushing by the Dutch, France need a good result against Italy to have a chance of advancing.
Striker Thierry Henry, who scored France’s only goal so far at Euro 2008, says to be hopeful: “Remember the trouble we had in qualifying for the World Cup in that group with the Republic of Ireland and Switzerland.
“It was the same at the World Cup itself and in qualification for the EURO. This team has already suffered a lot.”
Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, who made his Euro debut against Romania, considers the French to be a very strong team:
“From my point of view Franck RibÃƒÂ©ry and Thierry Henry are the two most dangerous players. France are a great side and the match on Tuesday will be really tough. I saw their match against the Netherlands and when they were 1-0 down they had a couple of chances to equalise.
“They even had a good penalty shout turned down so they are not as bad as all that. Their result wasn’t a fair reflection of the match. They are a side to fear and respect but we’ll try to beat them.”
The two giants met each other regularly over the past few years. Best known is of course the Italian penalty victory in the 2006 World Cup final.
But a few months later, the French won their Euro 2008 qualifier 3-1. In September 2007, their second qualification meeting went by goalless.
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