No change for Domenech

04 July 2006 01:30
France coach Raymond Domenech is expected to name an unchanged side for Wednesday's World Cup semi-final against Portugal. After struggling to draws against Switzerland and South Korea in their opening two group games, the experienced French side has gone on to hit a rich vein of form, beating Togo, Spain and Brazil. Domenech will use the 4-2-3-1 formation that has been so successful in the knockout stages since Zinedine Zidane returned to action after being suspended for the 2-0 win against Togo that sealed France's place in the last 16. Thierry Henry will again play on his own up front but will be full of confidence following his match-winning strike against Brazil, a goal that was set up by Zidane. Domenech is looking forward to the game in Munich but is making sure he does not appear over-confident going into the match. "Our goal is to be in the final and we are not there yet," he said. "Of course we're happy and excited after what happened against Brazil but we must immediately turn our attention to the match against Portugal, which will certainly not be easy. "It's madness in France but our feet must stay firmly on the ground." Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will be able to recall midfielders Deco and Costinha for the encounter after the duo missed the penalty shootout success against England in the quarter-finals through suspension. Deco replaces Tiago and Costinha steps in for Armando Petit after the players were sent off in the tempestuous second round victory against Holland. Petit is suspended for Wednesday's game but Scolari has no injury problems. The Brazilian is impressed with France's recent upturn in form saying: "A lot of people criticised France at the start but, slowly but surely, they've put their team together." Portugal are unbeaten in 17 competitive matches since they lost to Greece in the final of Euro 2004.

Source: ESA