Henry looks to own French scoring record

Thierry Henry will aim to become France‘s all-time leading goalscorer in their must-win Euro 2008 Group B against Lithuania.

Thierry Henry will aim to become France‘s all-time leading goalscorer in their must-win Euro 2008 Group B against Lithuania.

Henry equalled Michel Platini‘s record haul of 41 goals in the 6-0 victory over the Faroe Islands on Saturday and will now try to help France leap-frog Italy into the second qualification place at the top of the table behind Scotland.

All three teams have played 10 games, with Scotland facing Georgia in a qualifier on Wednesday and the Italians playing in a friendly against South Africa.

France need to win their final two games against Lithuania and away to Ukraine to have a chance of qualifying for the Euro 2008 finals and Henry is focused on two targets.

The 30-year-old Barcelona forward said: “I have that last rung to climb (to break the record), and of course the team has two to reach the European Championships.”

France’s youngsters have done their part to keep the country’s Euro 2008 hopes alive.

Karim Benzema scored two as a second-half replacement in Torshavn, while Hatem Ben Arfa also scored after coming off the bench.

Lyon striker Benzema has now scored three goals in five appearances for the national team.

Nicolas Anelka scored the opening goal in the Faroes, but has been ruled out of the fixture with Lithuania due to a thigh strain.

Defender Julien Escude missed the Faroes game and has failed to recover to take on the Lithuanians.

Anelka has returned to his club, Bolton Wanderers, and his place in the squad has been given to Monaco striker Frederic Piquionne, who has one cap.

Lithuania are without Saulius Mikoliunas, who is serving a two-match suspension for diving in last month‘s defeat to Scotland.

The visitors lost 1-0 to France in Kaunas in March and are seeking their fourth win of the campaign.

Scotland, who need four points from their remaining two matches to be certain of reaching their first major tournament since the FIFA World Cup finals in 1998, have been hit by injuries and suspensions for the Georgia game.

Midfielder Scott Brown (hamstring) and defender Alan Hutton (calf) are out, while Lee McCulloch and Garry O‘Connor are suspended.

But Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has declared himself fit following a knee injury and Reading right-back Graeme Murty has also been drafted into the squad.

Goalkeeper Georgi Lomaia has pulled out of the Georgia squad ahead of the game.

Lomaia had a poor game against Italy on Saturday and has withdrawn by mutual agreement with Georgia’s team management.

Georgi Makaridze, who is just 17, is set to make his competitive international debut in Lomaia’s absence.

Ukraine will look to bounce back from their 3-1 loss to Scotland in Glasgow when they take on the Faroe Islands.

Ukraine coach Oleh Blokhin was considering his position after the Hampden defeat.

“We can‘t make it now and I do want to quit my post as manager,” he said.

“But I‘m not sure if the Ukraine national association will accept my resignation. We will wait and see what happens in the near future.”

Blokhin was critical of his players following the loss and could make wholesale changes for the match with the Faroes.

The Faroe Islands have scored three and conceded 35 goals in 10 matches and nothing, barring a comprehensive victory in Kiev, will be acceptable to Blokhin.

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