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World Cup qualifying preview: France v Belarus

11 September 2012 08:35

Didier Deschamps hopes returning midfielder Abou Diaby will be fit to face Belarus in France's second 2014 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

The Arsenal midfielder was influential on his return to the national side after more than a year's absence, scoring the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Finland on Friday.

Diaby struck in the 19th minute of a largely dour game but his presence in the middle of the park provided a huge boost to manager Deschamps despite tiring late on in the match.

The 26-year-old only appeared four times for the Gunners last season and may be a risk of over-exerting himself, according to Deschamps.

"There is a risk for all players (to suffer from exhaustion); for Diaby, perhaps a little more," Deschamps told L'Equipe.

"He was getting tired, but I was not able to take him off as I had already made other changes. His athletic performance, particularly in the air, was fundamental to our win.

"We will see how he recovers, but in absolute circumstances, I don't see why he shouldn't be available on Tuesday."

Deschamps could field striker Olivier Giroud against Belarus, who defeated France 1-0 in their opening Euro 2012 qualifying game in 2011, after he missed the Finland game with a muscle injury.

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema was criticised in some quarters for his lacklustre performance, but could continue in more of a playmaker role should Giroud start up front.

"I'm expected to be more in the penalty area. Well, that's what I'm going to do against Belarus," Benzema told French TV on Sunday.

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will start again for France amid reports he is angry at being considered Tottenham's number two, despite his eight-million-pound move from Lyon in the off-season.

"When I join up with the national team I concentrate uniquely and we'll see about my personal situation when I go back," Lloris said.

Belarus trail leaders France in Group I after falling to Georgia 1-0 in their opening fixture, but will take heart from their win in the most recent meeting between the sides.

Substitute Sergei Kislyak's lone strike consigned France to a chorus of boos from the home fans at the Stade de France when the sides met back in September 2010.

Deschamps will be expecting a much better performance when Belarus take to the same pitch on Tuesday.

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Info

3 - 1

Competition
WC Qualification Europe
Date
11 September 2012
Kick-off
21:00
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
3 - 1
Venue
Stade de France (Paris)
Attendance
52552

Goals

E. Capoue 50'
(assist by F. Ribéry) 
1 - 0
C. Jallet 69'
(assist by F. Ribéry) 
2 - 0
2 - 1
F. Ribéry 80'
(assist by K. Benzema) 
3 - 1

Lineups

Substitutes

Saturday 27 December

Friday 26 December

22:40
22:04
21:22
21:19
21:15
20:58
20:39
20:38
20:27
20:23
20:20
20:10
20:07
20:05
20:01
19:54
19:54
19:51
19:43
19:41
19:41
19:33
19:25
19:09
18:15
18:08
18:04
18:01
18:01
18:00
17:57
17:56
17:10
17:05
16:26
15:43
14:30
12:32
12:02
11:48
11:10
08:44
05:24
05:24
05:24
05:24
03:45
02:56
01:35
00:46

Thursday 25 December

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