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Frey sees Scotland as tougher than Italy

France goalkeeper Sebastian Frey claims the visit of Scotland will be more difficult than their clash with world champions Italy in Milan.

Les Bleus go into Wednesday's Euro 2008 qualifying clash without the suspended Thierry Henry, who received his second yellow card of the campaign during the 0-0 draw at the San Siro.

The point left France on top spot in Group B, just one point ahead of Scotland following their 3-1 win over Lithuania at Hampden.

And Frey is preparing himself for a battle in the Parc des Princes.

'Yes, it is going to be more difficult,' the Fiorentina goalkeeper said. 'They may not be technically on the same level (as Italy), but they make up for it physically.

'We expect it to be a physically more intense match and, for that reason, we need to recover as quickly as possible after this game. It won't be easy.'

Frey's comments will reassure Henry, who urged his team-mates to take Alex McLeish's men seriously after his caution for a challenge on Fabio Cannavaro ruled him out.

His other booking in the campaign also came against Italy, when France avenged their World Cup final defeat with a 3-1 triumph in Paris a year ago.

The Barcelona striker said: 'I'm disappointed I will miss the next match against Scotland but what can I do? I can't change the yellow card, so I have to become a supporter instead.

'My team-mates will take the match in Paris seriously as Scotland have done very well to get into the position they are in.

'It is crucial we go for the win at home but we have done a good job in Italy by coming here and not losing.

'That was the most important thing for us before the match and even though we always want to win we are pleased with the result and can now focus on Scotland.'

Meanwhile, Italy coach Roberto Donadoni is grateful that he has two months to prepare his troops for their crunch match against the Scots.

The Azzurri visit Hampden on November 17 for Scotland's last match of their campaign.

'It is very important that we face Scotland later,' the former AC Milan winger said.

'I think this team has spent all it could at the moment, but two months down the line, we should be in a better condition.'

However, Donadoni believes Wednesday's match in the Ukraine could make or break Italy's hopes of qualifying.

'Three points can make a huge difference,' added Donadoni. 'It could be the difference between finishing first, second or third.'