Didier Deschamps has asserted that World Cup qualifying Group I will not be decided regardless of the result between France and Spain next week.
Les Bleus play host on March 26 to La Roja in both teams’ second qualification game of this international break.
Presuming both defeat opponents Georgia and Finland respectively, then they will go into their head to head still level on points.
Even with both seen as favourites to occupy first and second in the group and the game therefore seen as a group decider, Deschamps sees otherwise.
“It will not be a final. After facing Georgia, we will turn our attention to Spain, and I hope that we will have 10 points to take into it,” commented the head Coach to L’Equipe today.
“Yet, even after the game with Spain, nothing will be settled. Against Spain is the chance to qualify directly, but there remain others in the group too.
“Right now the difficulty is in winning the first game [against Georgia] and remaining fresh for the second [against Spain].
“We will not play against Georgia as we will against Spain, who will have the ball and force us to defend. But I have no intention of changing 10 players between the games.”
The retired midfielder then turned his attention to Karim Benzema, who is under scrutiny as he continues to hold a place in the squad whilst struggling for form with Real Madrid.
“He lacks a goal, which would be a trigger. He lacks some of the natural movements right now, but the quality remains there.
“It is not an easy period. There is always the duel with Higuain, which is not easy to manage. I know his quality. He needs confidence.
“France needs a Benzema that is in great shape.”
The striker is seen as also being out of shape physically.
“He has to regain control. He is not the only one. There are three or four of them that need to be careful. Their body is their tool. Especially when their team is playing twice a week.
“They train less. In a game of 90 minutes, you burn calories. It is one of the reasons that led me to give him 90 minutes against Germany. He needs that rhythm.”