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Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires and Zinedine Zidane have spoken out ahead of their opening game against England, claiming that any affinity they share with the opposition at club level, will be forgotten once the game kicks off.

Midfielder Vieira was speaking after France’s comfortable win against the Ukraine.

‘The thing that was very reassuring is that we defended well, and if we are as impressive in this area of the pitch against England nobody will be to stop us, neither Wayne Rooney or Michael Owen,’ saiid Vieira.

Vieria’s confidence was echoed by Real Madrid playmaker Zidane who is rellishing his encounter with Real Madrid teammate David Beckham.

‘He is such a great player but I hope it is going to be a very hard game for him on Sunday,’ said Zidane.

Robert Pires said that despite his relationship with Ashley Cole at club level, there would be no favours granted when the countries meet at the weekend.

Pires, whose confrontation against Cole on the left is one of the more intriguing circumstances contrived by the Anglo-French clash, insisted: ‘It’s true we are good friends with Ashley, but he certainty won’t be any more during 90 minuets on Sunday. That’s the game.’

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