Tonight’s clash between European powerhouses in Paris will not disappoint international football fans. Prestigious teams rarely compete in qualifying matches of such a high magnitude. With Spain in danger of missing out on automatic qualifying, Les Bleus hope to widen their 2-point lead over the reigning World Cup and European Champions.
French manager Didier Deschamps plans to take advantage of Spain’s possession style and capitalise on counter-attacking opportunities. Deschamps told the Daily Mail, “We will have to use the ball well when we have it; we will have to force them to defend.”
The manager went on to say fighting for possession against Spain is “useless.” He will count on veteran defender Patrice Evra, who was an unused substitute in Friday’s match against Georgia, to limit Spain’s scoring opportunities. The Manchester United defender will help French captain and Tottenham Hotspur Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris keep Spain’s attack uncharacteristically quiet.
Spain will enter the Stade de France unusually uneasy. The teams had quite different results on Friday. While Spain only managed to pick up one point in a disappointing home draw against Finland, France dominated Georgia 3-1. Combined with home advantage, French fans believe current their hot streak could lead to the end of Spain’s current unbeaten run.
Also, Spain will be without Jordi Alba and David Silva. Nacho Monreal is expected to fill in at left back. He will be part of a back line faced with the daunting task of slowing down his Arsenal teammate Olivier Giroud or Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. Although Giroud has been in rough form during recent Premier League appearances, the Frenchman played a critical role in Spain’s last match against France. In October, his 94th minute equaliser earned France one all-important point during their away leg of this tie. The striker also netted France’s first goal against Georgia on Friday.
Deschampes alluded that Giroud’s aerial attack would be valuable late in the match to take advantage of a tired Spanish defence. The Daily Mail quoted the manager saying, “He has that ability, and that’s a weapon I can obviously use at any time.”
Spain hope to gain freshness with the addition of Xavi and Xabi Alonso, who were out with injuries during the Finland match. Both midfielders have been seen training and should be fit for Tuesday night.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to watch this amazing match. It will be streaming live here at 8 pm…