White to play through pain barrier

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Football News

Captain Faye White will wear a protective mask as she attempts to lead England to European glory.

The Arsenal defender is set to return for the Euro 2009 final against Germany in Helsinki after dislocating and fracturing a cheekbone in the quarter-final win over hosts Finland.

England are attempting to win their first European title having reached the final for only the second time in 25 years and coach Hope Powell said: "Faye's good. She's got a mask which has been approved by the referees, so fingers crossed. We've just got to check it is comfortable. She has been wearing it all day to make sure she is happy with it - and she is more than happy."

History is against England as they bid to loosen Germany's grip on the trophy. Germany, the current world champions, have won the last four Euro tournaments and six of its last seven editions.

England have also lost 16 of their 18 meetings against Germany with the other two games, both in 2007, ending goalless.

"We understand we are the underdogs and they are the clear favourites," said Powell, who was in the side beaten by Sweden the last time England reached the final in 1984. "But stats mean nothing until after the final whistle.

"We are not looking back, we are looking forward. We will know at the end of 90 minutes-plus on Thursday, whether that is another stat or something changes.

"In order to be the best you have to beat the best, and currently Germany are the best. We have just got to get on with it.

"We planned for six games and this is the sixth of six. We are just preparing in the same way we have for all the others - very diligently.

"They have their frailties like any other team. We recognise their strengths but we also recognise their weaknesses. They are the areas we will try to exploit."

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