France's hopes of automatic qualification for the FIFA World Cup hang by a thread heading into Tuesday's match in Belarus.
Didier Deschamps' men drew 0-0 with Georgia on Friday and, with Spain winning in Finland, they now trail the Group I leaders by three points with just two games left to play.
Goals have proven hard to come by for the French in recent matches, with Les Bleus having drawn a blank in their last five outings.
The stalemate in Tbilisi underlined their woes in front of goal, with Olivier Giroud and Karim Benzema both guilty of wasting the kind of opportunities that they have been putting away for their club sides.
France do at least have the comfort of a five-point gap over the third-placed Finns, which should ensure that they claim a play-off spot as a minimum.
Deschamps and his team have come under fire from the French press, with claims that this could be the worst side in the nation's rich football history.
However, the manager, who captained France to World Cup success on home soil in 1998, was keen to avoid any comparisons.
"I could never say this is one of the worst teams in French history," he said. "I do not compare generations.
"Is it a problem of inefficiency or poor talent? Who can evaluate? Players score for their clubs when selected but not for us, though. We have players who lack experience
"I will make choices for the good of the team. I still have some solutions but do not have a miracle cure.
"Spain had fewer opportunities than we did here in Georgia in May but they won 1-0 in the 86th minute. I have two eyes to see. I am in the analysis.
"I have not decided who will play in Belarus but I will make choices for the good of the team. We are lacking in efficiency. We need to improve this aspect."
The Belarusians, however, know only too well the threat their visitors can offer when they are on form.
An altogether more cohesive France outfit ran out comfortable 3-1 winners when the two nations met last September, and coach Georgi Kondratiev expects a difficult match.
"France are now much stronger than the team that we were able to beat (1-0 in 2010)," he said. "They have a strong team of excellent players. This is one of the best teams in the world.
"Their attack is very impressive. I'm really impressed by (Franck) Ribery and (Mathieu) Valbuena. They are everywhere, they never stop. It will be very hard against them on Tuesday."
Belarus sit bottom of the group, with just one win and one draw from their six games.
They can still finish as high as third, though, and that will be their target for the remaining two games.
After the visit of France, they head to group leaders Spain to complete their qualifying campaign.
|21||E. Filipenko||32' 33'|
|Coach: G. Kondratjev|
for S. Drahun 71'
for D. Verkhovtsov 77'
for J. Tigorev 83'
|Ranieri backs Martial to find form|
|Mane not leaving Southampton - Koeman|
|Valencia goalkeeper Ryan thankful to former coach Arnold|
|Wenger lauds remarkable ´lion´ Sanchez|
|Top spot not crucial for Klopp|
|Hamsik surprised by Napoli´s season|
|Allardyce open to Defoe sale|
|Breitenreiter pleased with Schalke character|
|Griffiths: Blame me for Celtic´s Europa League exit|
|Pochettino happy with Chelsea links to Kane|
|Europa League Review: Liverpool advance, Celtic crash out|
|We´re too easy to play against, laments Villa captain Richards|
|AC Milan v Sampdoria: Mihajlovic the focus ahead of San Siro clash|
|Ferdinand: Ferguson only wanted players with animal instinct at United|
|Klopp frustrated by Mignolet decision|
|Pochettino hails ´mature´ Spurs display|
|Celtic 1 Ajax 2: Late winner keeps De Boer´s men alive|
|Pioli eyes improvement after Lazio qualify for last 32|
|Liverpool 2 Bordeaux 1: Milner and Benteke ensure Europa League progression|
|Dortmund dominant in Krasnodar defeat, claims Tuchel|
|Atletico Madrid v Espanyol: Lopez looking for perfection on the road|
|CBF chief Marco Polo del Nero steps down from FIFA role|
|Qarabag 0 Tottenham 1: Kane header seals Europa League progression|
|Sturridge set for scan on foot injury|
|Barcelona v Real Sociedad: Rakitic puts winning run down to team spirit|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Troyes: Top against bottom in Ligue 1|
|United striker Wilson joins Brighton on loan|
|Mihajlovic abandoned me but Montella is the best, says Ferrero|
|Bayern Munich v Hertha Berlin: Dardai out to stop Guardiola´s juggernaut|
|FC Krasnodar 1 Borussia Dortmund 0: Russians progress thanks to early penalty|
|Rode not planning Bayern exit|
|Koeman hopes ´dangerous´ Long can fill Pelle void|
|Aston Villa v Watford: Garde calls for support to end barren run|
|Crystal Palace v Newcastle United: Pardew dreaming of European football|
|Manchester City v Southampton: Koeman feels Pellegrini´s men can cope with criticism|
|La Liga president Tebas: Clasico was hard to watch|
|Sunderland v Stoke City: Allardyce calls for ´fight and grit´ after Palace success|
|Figures reveal further drop in football banning orders|
|AFC Bournemouth v Everton: Martinez cautions against complacency|
|Hughes urges Shawcross to forget England hopes|
|Leicester City v Manchester United: Top-of-the-table clash intrigues Ranieri|
|Rodriguez out for up to eight weeks|
|Ranieri: It will be hard to break down United´s defence|
|Allardyce hopeful on Defoe fitness|
|Ribery eyes Bayern return|
|Hamann tips Firmino to become a Liverpool star|
|Baines closing in on comeback - Martinez|
|Away fans in France banned from matches until mid-December|
|Azpilicueta: Chelsea on right track again|
|Rummenigge confident Bayern will not lose any key players|
|Deulofeu showing world-class talent, says Martinez|
|Sydney FC 0 Wellington Phoenix 0: Bore draw as hosts miss chance to go top|
|´Not of the professional standard´ - Garde drops Grealish|
|Real Madrid lead the way in World XI nominees|
|Ozil was a bargain at £40m - Wenger|
|FIFA donates returned CBF watches to charity|
|Sanchez could play against Norwich despite hamstring problem|
|Mourinho hopes to see Arsenal suffer Champions League elimination|
|Isco urges Madrid to learn from mistakes|
|Drogba claims Chelsea are lacking leaders|
|Juventus can hold their own against anyone - Buffon|
|Alleged match-fixer released from Singaporean jail|
|Le Tissier backs Ronaldo to play on like Giggs|
|Keane: Rooney looks awful and must do more|
|Rummenigge: Bayern relaxed over Guardiola future|
|Premier League Truce Tournament cancelled over Belgium safety concerns|
|Blanc: Ibrahimovic´s Malmo return was a distraction|
|Astana coach Stoilov delighted with Benfica draw|
|Shakhtar have ´mentality problems´ - bemoans coach Lucescu|
|Lovren vows to become Liverpool leader|
|Mason wants to cement England spot|
|Van Nistelrooy misses rivalry with ´obsessed´ Arsenal|
|Emery disappointed by Champions League campaign|
|Schubert eyeing Europa League spot|
|Cocu revels in PSV´s position after Old Trafford draw|
|Pellegrini questions Mandzukic winner|
|I lived a dream – Ibrahimovic|
|Allegri delighted after Juve seal progression|
|Benitez happy with response to Barcelona thrashing|
|Marchisio satisfied by battling win over City|
|Hareide quiet on Malmo future after heavy PSG defeat|
|Van Gaal aware of Wolfsburg challenge|
|Griezmann focused on winning Group C after Gala win|
|Real Madrid relaxed too much, admits Carvajal|
|Toure laments missed chances as Juve sink City|
|Europa League is Gala´s new goal - Muslera|
|Rooney bullish on Champions League chances|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 4 Sevilla 2: Stindl double sends Liga side out|
|Malmo 0 Paris Saint-Germain 5: Ibrahimovic on target as Blanc´s side cruise through|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 3 Real Madrid 4: Ronaldo wins the group despite late comeback|
|Manchester United 0 PSV 0: Stalemate leaves Van Gaal´s men facing tricky final game|
|Juventus 1 Manchester City 0: Mandzukic seals qualification as Juve leapfrog City|
|Atletico Madrid 2 Galatasaray 0: Griezmann double sends Simeone´s men through|
|Slutsky reflects on "humiliating" defeat|
|´We worked hard for that´ - Schafer revels in Wolfsburg win|
|Dier wary of Qarabag threat|
|Celtic captain Brown out for up to three months with knee injury|
|Supporters´ absence will be tough in Belgium - Sarri|
|Watzke dismisses talk of Hummels rift|
|Teams in Europe need Premier League fixture help - Pochettino|
|CSKA Moscow 0 Wolfsburg 2: Schurrle eliminates Slutsky´s side|
|Serie A not priority for Fiorentina - Sousa|
|Ibrahimovic still cool on Guardiola as he ponders future|
|Tuchel demands Dortmund response|
|Jimenez relieved to end goal drought as Benfica snatch draw|
|Fleetwood´s Ball has Messi and Tevez in his sights|
|Isco handed two-match ban after Clasico dismissal|
|Astana 2 Benfica 2: Jimenez double seals comeback|
|Valdes ´fighting to be free´ from Manchester United|
|Lovren: It´s a great pleasure to play under Klopp|
|Sturridge set for Liverpool comeback|
|Drogba backs Cech to lead Arsenal to title|
|Mourinho explains Hazard substitution against Maccabi|
|Klopp insists Liverpool have no Anfield problem|
|Neuer has taken the game to ´a new level´ - Kahn|
|Klopp is ready to replace Mignolet, claims Grobbelaar|
|Barcelona confirm Sergi Roberto ankle injury|
|Australia, Postecoglou nominated for AFC awards|
|Dortmund rest Reus and Aubameyang for Krasnodar clash|
|Dynamo Kiev receive UEFA fine, stadium closure|
|Boyd against USA match proposal|
|Javi Martinez wants Bayern renewal|
|Barcelona certain Neymar will renew contract|
|Sanchez impossible to defend against - Koscielny|
|Aguero can be Manchester City´s Messi, says Buffon|
|There is something wrong between Lewandowski and Robben, claims Matthaus|
|Bayern on track for Champions League glory - Muller|
|Lovren hails ´unbelievable´ Firmino|
|Cech: Arsenal have everything in own hands|
|Van Nistelrooy believes Depay not ready to make the difference at Manchester United|
|´I like to spend money´ - Wenger|
|´It was beautiful to watch´ - Szczesny after Roma´s 6-1 loss to Barca|
|Simeone: Atletico won´t settle for draw|
|City must believe they can win Champions League - Hart|
|Gerrard confirms Liverpool training return|
|Rooney told to make China move by Eriksson|
|Vanhaezebrouck: Overachieving Gent deserve to advance|
|Barca an ´unbeatable machine´ - Garcia|
|Jokanovic proud of Maccabi progress|
|Luis Enrique wants more after Barcelona hit Roma for six|
|Sevilla in talks to keep hold of Banega|
|Guardiola ´satisfied´ after Bayen brush aside Olympiacos|
|We are thinking about Arsenal now, admits Silva|
|Mourinho plays down Costa row|
|Messi: It feels good to be back for Barcelona|