Abidal to miss Albania qualifier

France coach Laurent Blanc has confirmed that defender Eric Abidal will miss tomorrow's UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group D encounter with Albania due to a hamstring injury. "We were hoping he would make it, but Friday's game is just too soon for Abidal," said Blanc.

"Our medical staff has tried to pull off a miracle and even although he is so competitive, we cannot ask the impossible of him. He has improved but an international player has to reach a certain level to be able to play and he is not there."

In his absence, Valencia's Adil Rami and Younes Kaboul of Tottenham Hotspur should be paired in central defence, with Patrice Evra of Manchester United at left-back. However, it is still expected that Abidal will be available for next Tuesday's final qualifier at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina.