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Brazil v France
Kick-off 20:00 (BST)

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World champions Brazil meet 1998 World Cup winners France in the final quarter final clash in Frankfurt.

France coach Raymond Domenech, meanwhile, has been boosted by the return of captain and playmaker Zinedine Zidane to training on Friday after sitting out Thursday’s session with a minor knock.

The retiring Real Madrid playmaker rolled back the years in the win over Spain and is still regarded as an iconic figure, and key to France’s hopes.

Despite under performing in the group stages, Domenech insists that he will not be satisfied unless France win the World Cup.

“I am surprised to hear people say that if we lose to Brazil, France has had a good World Cup,” he said.

“I think the opposite. It would mean that we had lost and that would be an unsuccessful campaign. We have only one objective – the final on 9 July.

“We are neither outsiders nor favourites – we just have a game with Brazil on Saturday evening,” he insisted.

“We are looking forward with confidence and everyone is delighted to be in the last eight.

“Brazil have been considered favourites for 40 years – they are used to playing under that sort of pressure – but people have been writing us off as underdogs for 90 years.”

Despite being criticised for his selections and his lack of tactical acumen, Domenech insists his strategy has been vindicated.

“People criticise us in games but football is different to the theatre – when the audience only sees the performance and not the rehearsals,” he said.

“We all have a clear objective of what has to be done and our mission is to ensure the team has everything it needs, that no external excuses can be made and can build around any problems.”

Carlos Alberto Parreira’s Brazil side have not always impressed in this campaign, but they have won all their matches and still look the team to beat in Germany.

Parreira insisted they were not looking at the match as a revenge mission for the 1998 final – a game won 3-0 by the French.

“It’s got nothing to do with that game. We’re not thinking about it,” he said.

Parreira, who like Domenech. has been criticised for some of his team selections by the media, added: “People like to win. The fans want to be world champions.

“History does not talk about the teams that put on a good show. It talks about the teams that reached the finals and became the champions.”

Parreira admitted that his team needed to improve on their performances to date if they want to beat France

“France are in no hurry to play,” he added.

“They have very experienced players. They don’t rush about. They have this apparent calmness and then all of a sudden they move the ball quickly to [Thierry] Henry. We can’t allow ourselves to be hoodwinked by this. This is a phase in which errors are not permitted. We are hoping for a jump [in quality].”

Parreira paid tribute to French football by saying that, beside Brazil, France are the team with the most individual talent at the World Cup. “All of their players are the stars of their club teams,” he said.

Parreira will be hopeful that the midfield pair of Kaka and Emerson can shake off their minor knocks to start tonight.

If they do miss out, Arsenal’s Gilberto Silva and Lyon’s Juninho Pernambucano will come in.

Probable teams:
Brazil: Dida, Cafu, Lucio, Juan, Carlos, Emerson, Ze Roberto, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Robinho.

France: Barthez, Sagnol, Thuram, Gallas, Abidal, Vieira, Makelele, Ribery, Zidane, Malouda, Henry.

Referee:: Luis Medina Cantalejo (Spain).

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