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YOHAN CABAYE admits France fear the threat of skipper Steven Gerrard ahead of today's Euro 2012 clash with England in Donetsk.

The Newcastle midfielder has hailed the Liverpool captain as "the soul" of Roy Hodgson's team and is out to stop him making an impact.

"Who do we fear most? Steven Gerrard is a very important player, very powerful and an inspirational player, a leader," Cabaye said.

Johan "He is the soul of this team, the captain, and will be like a king in this game. He can be very aggressive going forward but defensively he is also important. It is important to try and nullify him.

"But England have some good young players."

Cabaye wants France to take advantage of the absence of Wayne Rooney who is banned for England's first two group games.

He said: "Rooney is a player of great quality and will be a great miss for them.

It is significant for us as well as for England that he will not be there."

Laurent Blanc's resurgent side are unbeaten in 21 games and Cabaye insists there's a unity which was sadly lacking in their miserable World Cup campaign of 2010.

Cabaye "There is a good feeling amongst the squad to play for each other and for the whole country," he added.

"We are ready for the battle. It was difficult to move on after the World Cup but there is a very good spirit here.

"But the English team is very strong and we can't tell for sure what will be the outcome of this match.

"Some people say we are favourites but the English team is very strong and Ukraine will be as well at home.

"But we will try to win with our style of play. Personally I am ready for the battle and a good result on Monday will help to build confidence."


ADMIRER: Johan Cabaye
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Jun 11, 2012
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