‘I believe in Benzema and Giroud’

Didier Deschamps says he sees Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema facing strong competition for playing time with France from Olivier Giroud.

Benzema is enduring a difficult run without scoring for the national team and has come into October’s international with similar criticism at club level and having recently lost his place with France to the Arsenal striker.

When quizzed on which forward he would start in Friday’s friendly with Australia, Deschamps was less than conclusive.

“Nobody has an advantage over anyone else,” responded the retired midfielder to reporters this week.

“The competition between two players is more or less strong according to the positions. They are two players with different characteristics.

“You always ask me the same things. I have confidence in Karim yet I also have it in Giroud. The two can also play well together.”

Deschamps’ side still have an outside chance of automatic qualification to the World Cup, if they win their final qualifier next week and Spain pick up less than four points from their two remaining games.

Even so, Les Bleus’ Coach is already talking of October’s friendly with Australia and qualifier with Finland with one eye on preparations for November’s Play-off round.

“These games will not tell us what may happen in November during the play-offs, but it will be important to carry good results into them.

“We will face these games with the same enthusiasm as the two play-off games, although the context is different.”

Tags benzema Deschamps France Giroud