Vieira plays for France against Inter wishes

September 5, 2007

MILAN, Sept 5 (Reuters) - France captain Patrick Vieira looks likely to play in the Euro 2008 qualifier with Italy on Saturday but his club Inter Milan are less sure of his fitness.

The midfielder has missed the start of the Serie A season because of a hamstring strain but is desperate to play on his home ground in the Group B match, which is a repeat of the World Cup final.

'In the last week Patrick has only done physiotherapy and athletic work without touching a ball,' Inter fitness coach Ivan Carminati told the Gazzetta dello Sport Web site on Wednesday.

'To play on Saturday would be a big leap. I trust the professionalism of everyone.'

Vieira told Reuters last week that although he would give himself every chance to play, he did not want to risk being ruled out of next Wednesday's qualifier against Scotland.

'Vieira's physical problem is disappearing,' France coach Raymond Domenech was quoted as saying by Gazzetta.

'Patrick is better but it is him who will decide if he plays. I am not a doctor, in 14 years I have never risked a player.'

France, who beat their rivals in Paris in September to avenge their World Cup final defeat, lead Italy by two points in Group B.