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Albiol ready for ´absolute best´ from France

SoccerNews in World Cup 16 Oct 2012

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Spain defender Raul Albiol expects a tricky World Cup 2014 qualifier against France on Tuesday.

Les Bleus were beaten 1-0 by Japan in an international friendly on Friday but the centre-back does not believe the defeat will affect the Gallic nation’s morale, and has little doubt they will be on top of their game against La Roja.

Spain, meanwhile, head into the clash full of confidence after a 4-0 defeat of Belarus in Group I.

Despite their contrasting fortunes, Albiol is tipping a tough clash in Madrid.

“I don’t think our opponents will be coming here with their spirits damaged at all,” Albiol said.

“Against Japan they had the match against us in mind. We are all too aware that we will have to prepare exceptionally well as we will be facing the absolute best version of France.

“Taking maximum points from this game would be a big step towards qualifying for the World Cup. Playing at home in front of our own fans is an important factor.

“We know France have changed quite a few players with their new coach – they are more physical now – but what hasn’t changed is their style.”

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