France's Benzema, Ribery and Matuidi ruled out

CLAIREFONTAINE, France Tue Oct 4, 2011 3:59am IST

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema sits on the pitch after sustaining an injury during their Champions League Group D soccer match against Ajax Amsterdam at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid September 27, 2011. REUTERS/Felix Ordonez

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema sits on the pitch after sustaining an injury during their Champions League Group D soccer match against Ajax Amsterdam at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid September 27, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Felix Ordonez

CLAIREFONTAINE, France (Reuters) - France trio Karim Benzema, Franck Ribery and Blaise Matuidi have been ruled out of Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier at home to Albania and next week's final group game with Bosnia because of injuries, the French Football Federation said on Monday.

The three were part of the 24-man squad named by coach Laurent Blanc last week but fresh injuries while on club duty mean France will be stretched as they try to wrap up qualification for June's finals in Ukraine and Poland.

"MRI scans...have shown that all three are unable to play in the matches," a federation statement said.

France lead Group D by a point from Bosnia with just the two qualifiers at the Stade de France left.

Regulars Philippe Mexes, Yoann Gourcuff, Abou Diaby and Guillaume Hoarau were already out with long-standing injuries and on Sunday Bacary Sagna pulled out after breaking his leg playing for Arsenal, leading to a call-up for Mathieu Debuchy.

Real Madrid striker Benzema is suffering from an abductor muscle problem, Bayern Munich winger Ribery has calf injuries and Paris St Germain midfielder Matuidi is struggling with thigh trouble.

Defenders Eric Abidal and Laurent Koscielny remain in the squad but are doubtful with knocks.

"It is part of the job of national coach," Blanc earlier told reporters about his squad's fitness.

"Players are subjected to quite a tough regime with (club) matches every three or four days and muscle injuries can multiply. Eric is very important to us. I really hope he will be fit to play."

A decision on possible replacements for the injured trio has not yet been made and depends on whether Blanc sticks to his usual plan of having one man up front or switches to 4-4-2 given that Albania are likely to play defensively on Friday.

France may try to attack more than normal as they need to beat Albania to guarantee they stay in front of Bosnia ahead of the final showdown with the Balkan side on Oct. 11.

(Writing by Mark Meadows, editing by Justin Palmer and Clare Fallon; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Two-match ban

Two-match ban

Pires gets two-match ISL ban for tunnel altercation.  Full Article 

Domestic Title

Domestic Title

Old Trafford is more like Gold Trafford for Chelsea.  Full Article 

Row with Striker

Row with Striker

Taarabt row is over as QPR move on says Redknapp.  Full Article 

Formula One

Formula One

Caterham and Marussia to miss next races - Ecclestone .  Full Article 

Malaysian Grand Prix

Malaysian Grand Prix

Marquez takes record 13th pole in Malaysia  Full Article 

"Biting Harmless"

"Biting Harmless"

Biting is appalling but harmless, says Suarez  Full Article 

Asian Champions League

Asian Champions League

Juric strike gives Western Sydney edge in Asian final  Full Article 

NBA Preview

NBA Preview

LeBron's Cavs help bring focus back to the hardwood.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage