World Cup Preview: France vs. Senegal

Friday, May 31 in Seoul (7:30 am ET) Group A: FRANCE (0-0-0, 0 pts.) vs. SENEGAL (0-0-0, 0 pts.) (TV: Live, ESPN2, Univision, 7:30 am ET; Tape, Telefutura, 10 am ET/PT, Galavision, 7:30 p.m. ET/PT) First, Robert Pires. Now, Zinedine Zidane. France opens its defense of the World Cup without its two playmakers. Pires was lost for the tournament with a knee injury in April; Zidane is out for the first two games with a thigh injury. Thierry Henry was moved back into midfield when Pires went down. Three months ago, 34-year-old Youri Djorkaeff wasn't assured of making the French World Cup team. Now, he's starting in Zidane's place. A key player for the French: getting left back Bixente Lizarazu into the attack, where he will try to combine with Henry. Many of the French stars admit they know little of the Senegalese. The French mostly play abroad; almost all the Lions play in France. Senegal does not like to carry the game, depending heavily on the individual skill of striker El Hadji Diouf. The Lions like to attack from left to right, beginning with right back Ferdinand Coly, playing through central midfielder Salif Diao and moving on to left winger Khalilou Fadiga. Fadiga has given new meaning to the term ''player to watch.'' He was charged with petty larceny for stealing a $500 necklace in Daegu, where the Lions were training this week. FRANCE-SENEGAL IN BRIEF: PROBABLE LINEUPS: France -- 1 Barthez, 12 Thuram, 8 Desailly, 18 Leboeuf, 3 Lizarazu, 4 Vieira, 17 Petit, 11 Wiltord, 6 Djorkaeff, 12 Henry, 20 Trezeguet. Senegal -- 22 Sylva, 2 Coly, 13 Diatta, 6 A. Cisse, 2 Daf, 14 Moussa N'Diaye, 15 Diao, 19 Bouba Diop, 10 Fadiga, 7 H.Camara, 9 Diouf. SUSPENSION: Senegal -- Saar (red card carried over from qualifying). REFEREE: Ali Mohamed Bujsaim (UAE). NUMBER: 66 Senegal is the 66th team to play in the World Cup.
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