Henry aims to beat Platini's record

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/t/thierryhenry.jpg' class='caption'> Thierry Henry will aim to beat Michel Platini's scoring record and lead France to victory over Lithuania in the European Championship qualifie

Updated: October 18, 2007 07:47 IST
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Thierry Henry will aim to beat Michel Platini's scoring record on Wednesday and lead France to victory over Lithuania in the European Championship qualifier.

France needs to win its two remaining matches to guarantee a spot at Euro 2008, and will look to the Barcelona forward to get the goals at Nantes.

"The important thing will be to start this match well and create a lot of chances," Barcelona defender Eric Abidal said. "After that, everything should follow suit and the important thing is to win."

France is third in Group B with 22 points, one point behind Italy, which is idle. Scotland leads the group with 24 points and plays at Georgia, before its final match against Italy on Nov 17.

Henry equaled Platini's record mark of 41 goals for France in Saturday's 6-0 win at Faeroe Islands.

Platini, whose nine goals in five matches led France to the 1984 European Championship title, needed only 72 games to reach his total, while Henry has made 95 appearances.

With Nicolas Anelka injured, France coach Raymond Domenech may look to 19-year-old Karim Benzema to partner Henry in attack.

Benzema has 10 goals in 10 league games for Lyon this season, and scored twice after coming on as a second-half substitute against Faeroe Islands to take this tally to three in five internationals.

Domenech played down the expectations over Benzema.

"He scored one goal against Austria and two against the Faeroe Islands. It's good, but it's only the beginning," Domenech said. "It's not in these matches that you prove anything. You need to take the next step up."

Defender William Gallas is unlikely to play after quitting Monday's training session early for treatment on his groin. Florent Malouda could return at left wing, but faces competition from Paris Saint-Germain's Jerome Rothen, who scored a free kick against Faeroe Islands.

Tough match

Lithuania coach Algimantas Liubinskas thinks France are in for a tough match.

"We will not be relaxed," he was quoted as saying Monday by the Web site of sports daily L'Equipe. "We are not the Faeroe (Islands) and we will fight. Of course, we have not forgotten that we are playing against the second best team in the world."

France lost the 2006 World Cup final to Italy on penalty kicks, and one of the two teams could fail to qualify for the finals. France's final game is at Ukraine on Nov 21.

Lithuania will be without Saulius Mikoliunas, who is serving a two-match suspension for diving in the penalty area against Scotland in a 3-1 loss on Sep 8.

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