LIKE A DERBY

Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has said that the matches between England and France have always been like a derby due to the fierce nature of the matches.

England and France have been grouped in the same group for the Euro 2012. They are the favourites to qualify for the quarter finals of the competition ahead of both Sweden and Ukraine.

The opening group match will be against England and France. Both teams will be looking to get off to a good start, and it will lead to a very fierce encounter according to Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna.

The right back has been ruled out of the competition after suffering his second major injury of the season playing for Arsenal. In his place, French national team manager Laurent Blanc has used the Lille defender Debuchy, who has been impressive so far in the campaign for his club team.

The 29-year-old Bacary Sagna has said that he is extremely disappointed to miss out on the Euro 2012, but is determined to cheer France, who are looking for their repeat of their successful Euro campaign many seasons ago. France have already beaten Steven Gerrard's England in a recent friendly match, but Bacary Sagna reckons that it will be tough to separate them this time around.

"It is like a derby. Every time France play England it is massive. No one wants to lose. We beat them at Wembley, but this game will be totally different. They have changed manager as well, and have new players coming into the team so it will be very different. A successful tournament for France can only be winning it. You can only be successful by winning something. We want to go far and play good football as well," said Bacary Sagna ahead of the opening game for France at the Euro 2012.

SAGNA UNHAPPY WITH TACKLE

Arsenal's French defender Bacary Sagna has said that he is extremely unhappy with the challenge made by Norwich City midfielder Bradley Johnson, which caused him to suffer a broken leg for the second time in the season. Crucially, this also means that he will now be taking no part in the Euro 2012, which will take place in Poland and Ukraine shortly.

Speaking after undergoing an operation, Bacary Sagna has said that Norwich City midfielder Bradley Johnson made the challenge on purpose and has made no apologies to him since then. Arsenal drew the match 3-3 after suffering a late goal to Norwich, which put a major doubt on their hopes of finishing in third position.

Bacary Sagna has said that Bradley Johnson made the tackle in such a way that he stepped on his feet so as to injure him. However, the French defender has said that he is extremely strong in character so that he will definitely return back strongly. Suffering a leg break is something that is not new to the Frenchman after he suffered the same earlier in the season while playing against Tottenham. Arsenal suffered a lot in his absence, while his return back to the team coincided with a good run of form for Arsene Wenger's men.

"I think he did it on purpose. He stepped on my leg. Play continues, I get back on my feet. And when I tried to control the ball, I felt a crack, just like the first time at Tottenham. He stepped right where the plate was. I think the plate pressured [the bone]. It's a neat break, just above the plate. It's football. It has happened to others before me. I came back once, I will come back a second time, even stronger," said Bacary Sagna.

VERMAELEN FILLS IN

Thomas Vermaelen is going to in the left back position for the match against Everton due to the injury to a number of key defender of, most importantly Bacary Sagna. The defender has been ruled out for a short while, which means that Thomas Vermaelen has to step up to the plate by playing in an unknown position.

The Belgian international has not played in this position for Arsenal at all, which means that Everton are likely to target this area for their attacking intent. Arsenal's Brazilian full-back Andre Santos is also unavailable after injuring himself in the midweek Champions League match against Olympiacos.

Despite progressing through to the last 16 of the Champions League as group winners, Arsene Wenger decided to use the Brazilian full-back for the match, in which Arsenal lost 3-1. More than the defeat, Wenger will be extremely worried about the injury to Andre Santos. The injury also now means that they will have to play Thomas Vermaelen at left back for the match against Everton, which also marks the 125th anniversary celebrations at the Emirates Stadium. A number of key personnel from past are likely to be present at this occasion. The former Arsenal players like Thierry Henry will be present during the occasion.

Other areas of the pitch, though, does not seem to be troubling Arsene Wenger after he will be naming an unchanged side that will feature the likes of Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott and Gervinho up front. It is also going to be extremely similar in the midfield as well, where the arrival of Mikel Arteta has added a real presence to the Arsenal team. Mikel Arteta, Alex Song, and Aaron Ramsey will be part of the midfield that will be hoping to win against Everton.

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