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Deschamps wary of Belarus

Didier Deschamps has urged his France side not to let their guard drop against Belarus in Tuesday’s World Cup 2014 qualifier.

France opened their campaign with a 1-0 victory in Finland last Friday, while their opponents suffered a similarly close 1-0 defeat to Georgia.

Speaking ahead of the encounter, the coach revealed that Abou Diaby and Gael Clichy are unlikely to participate in what he believes will be a tight affair in the capital.

“We need a bit of freshness,” said Deschamps at a press conference.

“Also, I have problems with Clichy and Diaby, who are both struggling to be available for the game.

“I expect a tight, tactical game, and we will try to improve. We will need to find ourselves in front of their goal often. They [Belarus] lost their first game but created a lot of opportunities.

“We have to force the lock open without taking any unnecessary risks.”

Deschamps then spoke about the importance of winger Franck Ribery to his plans for the national team: “I talked with [Franck] Ribery about his position.

“He plays in a system which puts a lot of emphasis on the wings, but we [France] don’t play quite the same way, so he must adapt a little.

“I still prefer to see him in the final third. He has the ability to shoot from distance.”

The fixture will be played at Stade de France, a venue where Deschamps lifted the World Cup 14 years ago, and he hopes to use the triumph as a source of extra motivation against the former Soviet Union state.

“It’s nice to return to Stade de France. Emotionally, it will rejuvenate me a little. I experienced the happiest moment of my career here,” he reflected.

Mon 10 Sep, 2012
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