Thursday, 6 September 2007

Azzurri: Toni racing to be fit

Luca Toni's chances of playing in Italy's showdown clash with France on Saturday night are improving, according to the national team doctor Andrea Ferretti.

Ferretti carried out further tests on the Bayern Munich striker's right leg on Thursday and was encouraged with the results.

"There is an improvement," he said. "Tomorrow we will take a definitive decision, but I am personally very optimistic."

Toni missed Bayern's last Bundesliga fixture after taking a knock to the thigh 11 days ago.

He was rated very doubtful for the World Cup final re-run with France and was originally called up with next Wednesday's Euro 2008 qualifier in Ukraine in mind. However, he could now figure in both fixtures.

"If he could choose, he would play a game tonight, but we will continue with our recovery programme," added Ferretti. "We hope he is then available for both games."

Toni's loss would be a huge gain for AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi, who cannot wait to be given the chance to walk out at his San Siro home wearing the blue shirt of the national team.

"Anybody would want to be involved," said the 34-year-old. "Italy - France at the San Siro is a fascinating clash."

The winners of Saturday's sell-out match will take a huge step towards Euro 2008 qualification while the losers would be left with a mountain to climb.

"To defeat France at this stage of the year, when we usually struggle, would be historic," said goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Source: Sporting Life

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