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. Dragun 71'
for D. Verkhovtsov 77'
for J. Tigorev 83'
|BREAKING NEWS: Fiorentina and Roma to meet in Europa League|
|Inter finalise Felipe swoop|
|Poyet delighted to have ´contagious´ Cattermole back|
|Melbourne City 3 Adelaide United 1: Baharudin triggers crucial comeback|
|Chelsea can cope with Matic absence - Terry|
|Mancini: I tried to take Guarin to Galatasaray|
|Wilshere undergoes ankle procedure|
|Bruce: Most Championship clubs would struggle with FFP|
|Henry would say yes to Arsenal job|
|Mignolet backs ´devastated´ Liverpool to regroup|
|Tiote looks set to miss the rest of the season|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Osvaldo scores for Boca, Internacional win|
|Alajuelense 5 DC United 2: Costa Ricans set for semis|
|Besiktas settled score with Liverpool - Cenk|
|Montella: Hard to keep Salah|
|Martinez salutes Everton´s qualification|
|Europa League games marred by crowd trouble|
|UEFA Europa League Review: Lovren misses crucial spot kick as Liverpool crash out|
|Rodgers rues lack of Liverpool guile|
|Pochettino laments ´key´ Soldado miss|
|Everton 3 Young Boys 1 (7-2 agg): Tormentor-in-chief Lukaku on song again|
|Serie A games to start late in show of support for Parma|
|Mancini irked by mistakes despite win|
|Besiktas 1 Liverpool 0 (aet, 1-1 agg, 5-4 pens): Lovren misses decisive spot-kick|
|Chelsea agree record sponsorship deal|
|Fiorentina 2 Tottenham 0 (3-1 agg): Gomez and Salah eliminate Spurs|
|Inter 1 Celtic 0 (4-3 agg): Guarin stunner sees Mancini´s men through|
|Manchester United v Sunderland: Poyet eyeing another Old Trafford upset|
|Monk has no problem with Van Gaal|
|Borussia Dortmund v Schalke: Di Matteo buzzing ahead of derby debut|
|Poyet not prepared to risk returning duo against United|
|Sherwood seeks six wins for survival|
|Championship Preview: Neil relishing East Anglian derby|
|Newcastle United v Aston Villa: Carver praises rejuvenated visitors|
|Granada v Barcelona: Catalan giants aiming to put pressure back on Real|
|Burnley v Swansea City: Monk targets 40 points in record time|
|Stoke City v Hull City: Meyler focused on maintaining resurgence|
|West Brom v Southampton: Pulis warns of continued dogfight|
|Police identify Chelsea fans over racist chanting|
|Guardiola warns against complacency|
|West Ham v Crystal Palace: Allardyce wary of being caught on counter|
|Parma GM compares club to the Titanic|
|Alderweireld close to Southampton return|
|Dyche keen to move on from Barnes furore|
|Gutierrez in Newcastle squad for Villa clash|
|Union chief urges action over Serbia gun threat|
|Berahino doubtful for Southampton clash|
|German citizenship? Why not? - Ribery|
|League Two Preview: Bury hope winning environment rubs off, Burton host Newport|
|Klopp hoping to avoid any nasty surprises after bomb discovery|
|Blackett pens new United deal|
|Sakho to return to training|
|Flores quits Getafe for personal reasons|
|Busquets agrees new Barcelona deal|
|Martino ´could not be happy´ at Barcelona|
|Allardyce striving to develop more Nobles|
|Nani hopeful of United return|
|Unexploded bomb found near Dortmund stadium|
|Lippi leaves Evergrande for personal reasons|
|Chelsea issue cup final warning to fans|
|Ancelotti has no intention to re-sign Morata|
|Dunkin´ Donuts sorry after Liverpool fans slam alternate club crest|
|Noble signs new West Ham contract|
|Sterling hopeful of contract resolution|
|Ali renews UAE contract|
|Deportivo Saprissa 0 America 3: Visitors win with late blitz|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Pato´s streak continues|
|Chievo v Milan: Abbiati wants consistency from Inzaghi´s men|
|Valverde wants momentum ahead of ´crucial´ week|
|Deila challenges Van Dijk, Denayer|
|Serie A Preview: Roma in crucial clash with Juve, resurgent Inter at home|
|Prince Albert: I feel for Wenger|
|Jardim salutes Monaco´s game plan|
|Schmidt dreaming of UEFA Champions League quarter finals|
|Arsenal face ´extremely difficult´ challenge - Wenger|
|Simeone rues missed Atletico opportunities|
|Berbatov questions Arsenal mentality|
|Calhanoglu confident Leverkusen can progress|
|Nottingham Forest 2 Bournemouth 1: Freedman´s dream start continues|
|Gabi upbeat despite Leverkusen defeat|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Monaco host PSG, Lille look to arrest slump|
|Arsenal 1 Monaco 3: All to do for Wenger´s men after limp first-leg display|
|Bayer Leverkusen 1 Atletico Madrid 0: Calhanoglu gives hosts narrow advantage|
|AFC Champions League Review: Western Sydney off to winning start|
|Piszczek blow for Dortmund|
|Bayern Munich v Cologne: Lewandowski wants more of the same from champions|
|Totti: Feyenoord win can be turning point|
|Icardi can be one of world´s best - Mancini|
|Crowe could ride to Leeds´ rescue|
|Martinez to keep faith with Howard|
|O´Brien fined for dissent in UAE victory|
|La Liga Preview: Messi aims to bounce back from penalty miss, leaders Real host Villarreal|
|Eredivisie Preview: Last chance saloon for De Boer´s Ajax|
|Amnesty International: Qatar must improve labour conditions|
|Greek professional football suspended|
|Liverpool trio out of Besiktas clash|
|Bundesliga Preview: Dortmund set for Ruhr derby, Bayern host Cologne|
|Rami to miss Chievo clash|
|Genoa game will go ahead, says Manenti|
|Neymar involved in spat with City fan|
|Steaua receive stadium ban from UEFA|
|Giaccherini out for majority of season|
|Brighton fined £90,000 for breach of agent rules|
|Chelsea try to identify seven over alleged racist chanting|
|No compensation for clubs over 2022 World Cup|
|Suarez: City fans´ boos helped inspire double|
|Not the right time for Gutierrez yet, says Carver|
|Naismith happy to be in the wars|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Pachuca reel in Montreal|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Another Bou hat-trick sees Racing win|
|A-League Preview: Sydney wary of Wanderers ahead of derby|
|Qatar 2022 date change strengthens calls for FIFA overhaul|
|Pellegrini: Champions League tie not over|
|Bresciano calls time on Australia career|
|Barcelona defend Messi´s penalty miss|
|Football League Review: Derby stay two points clear, Middlesbrough bounce back|