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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 08:26, July 05, 2006
Factbox of semi-final match between Portugal and France
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Where: Allianz Arena, Munich World Cup capacity: 66,000 When: Today, July 5, 2100 local time (1900 GMT) Team News:

France coach Raymond Domenech is expected to keep faith in the team who beat Spain 3-1 before knocking out Brazil 1-0 in the quarter-finals, a compact formation with Zinedine Zidane in a playmaking role and Thierry Henry on his own up front.

It was the first time since Domenech took charge two years ago that France have fielded the same team in successive matches, which strongly suggests the coach has found the right formula.

Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari can bring back playmaker Deco and midfield anchorman Costinha, who both missed the England quarter-finals through suspension. Deco replaces Tiago and Costinha steps in for Armando Petit.

Injured: None

Suspended: Armando Petit (Portugal)

Key quotes:

France coach Raymond Domenech: "Our goal is to be in the final and we are not there yet. 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."

Domenech: "It's madness in France but our feet must stay firmly on the ground."

Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari: "A lot of people criticised France at the start but, slowly but surely, they've put their team together."

Portugal goalkeeper Ricardo: "Zinedine Zidane is one of the world's great players and it's a shame he's about to retire. But we mustn't just look at him. We have to look at their team as a whole."

Key stats:

Portugal last met France in a friendly in 2001 when the French ran out 4-0 winners. The two sides have not met in a World Cup finals.

France have beaten Portugal in their last seven meetings. Portugal's last victory over France came in 1975.

Portugal have gone 17 competitive matches without defeat, dating back to their loss to Greece in the Euro 2004 final. France are on a similar run, having gone 15 games unbeaten. Their last defeat also came against Greece in the quarter-finals of Euro 2004.

Source: China Daily

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