Vieira, Materazzi to miss Italy, France match
MILAN, Aug 30 (Reuters) - France captain Patrick Vieira remains a doubt for the Euro 2008 qualifier against world champions Italy a week on Saturday. The Inter Milan midfielder missed the start of the Serie A season with a hamstring strain but could recover in time for the San Siro clash, a repeat of the World Cup final. Vieira was named in Raymond Domenech's squad on Thursday for the Italy match and the home qualifier with Scotland four days later. 'I am going to join the national team on Monday and we will see if I'm going to be fit,' Vieira told Reuters in an interview. 'It's a really important game but I won't be taking any risks. 'I want to have as much of a chance as possible to play in this game. I want to play at my home ground but the game against Scotland is as important as the Italy game.' France, who beat second-placed Italy 3-1 in Paris last September, have a two-point lead over Roberto Donadoni's side at the top of Group B. Italy lost 3-1 in a friendly in Hungary last week with Marco Materazzi suffering a thigh injury which will keep him out for a minimum of two months while fellow defender Fabio Cannavaro produced one of his worst displays for the Azzurri. Alessandro Nesta's international retirement leaves Italy with few options in defence, with AS Roma striker Francesco Totti also turning his back on the national team. However, Vieira believes Italy could be at their most dangerous, just as they were at the World Cup when few fancied them to lift the trophy. 'We always know Italy perform when they are not expected to,' he said. Italian champions Inter drew 1-1 in their Serie A opener with Udinese on Sunday and then lost 5-0 in a friendly at Barcelona on Wednesday. Vieira is unconcerned though and believes Inter will be spurred on by the quality of the promoted sides, including his former club Juventus. 'People are putting so much pressure on our shoulders. It was just one game, a draw and Udinese played really well away from home,' he said at a feelfootball.com event. 'Juve, Napoli and Genoa are important teams in Italy, it will make it difficult. But that is a good thing, we want to play against the best. 'I still believe we are the best team in Italy.'