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The BBC's John Murray
"The World Champions are favourites"
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Saturday, 24 June, 2000, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Petit ruled out of Spain clash
Petit
Petit in action against Denmark in France's opening game
Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has been ruled out of France's quarter-final clash with Spain on Sunday.

The 29-year-old sustained a knee injury in the early stages of the Group match with the Czech Republic and was replaced at half-time in that match by Youri Djorkaeff.

He then sat out the final match of the first round against Holland but French coach Roger Lemerre had been hopeful that the pony-tailed star would be fit in time for Sunday's last eight match.

However Lemerre confirmed on Saturday: "Petit will not play."

While his absence is a blow to the French they are not exactly short of options to replace him.

Djorkaeff, Robert Pires, Christophe Dugarry and Petit's Highbury team-mate Patrick Vieira have all impressed when given the opportunity and could fill in alongside Didier Deschamps and Zinedine Zidane.

The Spanish meanwhile have a question mark over the fitness of Fernando Hierro, who is suffering from a relapse of a thigh injury.

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See also:

24 Jun 00 | France
Trezeguet set for Juve
22 Jun 00 | Holland
Final challenge for France
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