Henry-Less France Set for Scottish Test

France host Scotland in a UEFA EURO 2008 qualifier this week without suspended striker Thierry Henry, but Saturday's 0-0 draw with Italy has boosted their confidence as they continue to top Group B.

France's Franck Ribery (L) fights for the ball with Italia's Gianluca Zambrotta

Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery, one of the standout midfielders during a tough-tackling stalemate at the San Siro, was encouraged by France's performance against the world champions in an electric atmosphere.

"It was not an easy match. They wanted to win in front of their crowd so it is a good result here at the San Siro against a difficult team to play against," Ribery told reporters. "Now the match against Scotland is important. If we win, I think we will have played two good matches."

France, who will miss Henry for Wednesday's match after the striker picked up a booking for tripping Fabio Cannavaro, have 19 points with Scotland second on 18 after their 3-1 win over Lithuania. Italy are in third on 17.

An 80,000 sell-out came to the see the repeat of the FIFA World Cup™ final, but the result will have left Donadoni more concerned about Wednesday's tricky trip to fourth-placed Ukraine. Striker Luca Toni failed to recover from a thigh strain for the France clash and has now been replaced by Juventus forward Vincenzo Iaquinta for the visit to Kiev, the Italian federation revealed. Gennaro Gattuso is also suspended after his yellow card on Saturday.

Donadoni was not disappointed with the goalless draw, but said the fact the Italian season had started so much later than the French campaign had made a difference. "If the French championship is in the seventh week and ours in the second, it says something. There is a gap in their physical condition but I am satisfied with how the boys reacted," he said.

Source FIFA

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