• Euro 2012

Cabaye: France fear King Gerrard

ESPN staff
June 9, 2012

France midfielder Alou Diarra has allayed fears over his fitness ahead of Monday's match with England, while Yohan Cabaye has confessed Les Bleus fear Steven Gerrard.

Diarra, 30, had been a slight worry over the past week, made worse by the absence of Yann M'Vila, but has recovered well from a slight knock to his knee sustained against Estonia.

"I'm feeling much better," he told a press conference on Saturday. "I barely feel any pain and I trained normally on Friday. I think that in 24 hours' time, I won't feel anything."

With Diarra deputising for M'Vila in the centre, he will line up alongside Newcastle's Cabaye who also attended the press conference. While much of the attention has been focused on which players will miss out for England, Cabaye believes that the Three Lions still have many players who can hurt their side - with Gerrard topping the list.

"Who do we fear most?" Cabaye said. "Steven Gerrard is a very important player, very powerful and an inspirational player, a leader. He is the soul of this team, the captain, and will be like a king in this game.

"He can be very aggressive going forward but defensively he is also important. It is important to try and nullify him. But England have some good young players and I've also been impressed by Danny Welbeck."

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