Different hue of Bleus: France will attack Spain

France will not change their approach to Tuesday's clash against Spain even if a draw at home could eventually send the world and European champions into a tricky playoff tie for World Cup qualification.

Les Bleus, who left Euro 2012 with their tails between their legs following a comprehensive 2-0 defeat against Spain in the quarter-finals last June, have dramatically improved under new coach Didier Deschamps.

They followed a 1-1 draw in Spain in October with a 3-1 win against Georgia on Friday to take the lead in qualifying Group I with 10 points from four games after Vicente del Bosque's side, now two points behind, were held to a 1-1 home draw by Finland.

Even if a draw would be enough to stay in front of Spain ahead of three potentially easy outings left in Georgia, Belarus and at home to Finland, France refuse to change their mindset.

"The reality is that Spain will still come to enjoy possession and to win the game," Deschamps told reporters. "I can't prepare for the match telling the guys 'let's defend, let's defend' even if Spain put you in such a position."

Captain Hugo Lloris also believes his side should set their sights on nothing less than victory at the Stade de France. "It does not change the way we'll be going into Tuesday's game. We know how good they are and they are able to come here to win," the goalkeeper said.

Olivier Giroud netted the opener against Georgia but Deschamps may leave out the Arsenal man and revert to using a lone striker, keeping faith with Karim Benzema despite the forward not scoring in his last 11 France games.


Paul Pogba, who made his debut on Friday, may also drop to the bench but centre back Raphael Varane, a Real Madrid player with good knowledge of the Spanish forwards, could earn his second cap.

... contd.

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