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Del Bosque optimistic in face of French foe

Vicente del Bosque believes Spain can defeat France and get their campaign to qualify for the 2014 World Cup back on track.

The world and European champions sit two points behind Tuesday’s opponents in Group I, after being held by Finland in Gijon in a 1-1 stalemate on Friday.

The last time the two nations met, France scored a late equaliser via Olivier Giroud to steal a point.

Del Bosque said France had two sides that day, but insisted his team is capable of getting all three points in Paris.

“In that game (in October) we saw two different faces of France,” the Spanish boss said.

“We played better than the first one, which is what happened in the first half. But they were very well organized. The second face was much better.

“They tried to draw and they did it in extremes. But there were two faces. The organized France we were better.”

Del Bosque said he feels the reason why France head them in the standings are due to les Bleus’ versatility.

“I think that France has a great team. They have some physical players, but also others who are quick and have good vision,” he said.

“They also have strong players at the back and two good full-backs. They’re a very good team.

“When we were drawn against them, we knew they would pose as difficult a test as anyone, and that is how it has played out. We also have quality and experience, and let’s hope we can win.”

Pedro and Sergio Ramos share their coach’s optimism, saying they can get the three points they need to assume top spot in the group.

“In the second half of the game against France, we had many chances, not only Andres (Iniesta), but all of us. But it was difficult. You always try to be helped by your team-mates. We did that, especially in the first half. But it was difficult because they (France) helped each other a lot,” Pedro said.

Ramos added: “What has made us win is our philosophy and the way we play. That’s why we don’t have to change that. We are a great team but they can give us some troubles.

“We remember that game in Calderon Stadium (their last match with France) and also some other games. We use those games to study our opponent and try to win them.”

Tue 26 March, 2013
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