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'
|Southampton need three January signings, says Watson|
|Liverpool can make Champions League, says fanzine editor|
|Walsh: Hull clash crucial for Leicester|
|Toure, Aubameyang and Enyeama make shortlist for African gong|
|Docherty backs Chelsea to win two-horse race|
|Liverpool could benefit from Hyypia influence - Scales|
|Saudi Arabia name Asian Cup squad|
|Forty-year-old Cahill no problem for Postecoglou|
|Wenger criticism baffles Redknapp|
|Leicester must strengthen in window - Walsh|
|United not title contenders - Docherty|
|Koeman: Southampton youngsters will get a chance|
|Dyche empathises with Liverpool striker crisis|
|Cagliari turn to Zola|
|Rooney thanks Van Gaal for Christmas break|
|Cruzeiro offer Paulinho Tottenham exit chance|
|Carlisle´s wife grateful to Burnley|
|Katebe called up to Zambia AFCON squad|
|Cape Verde name AFCON squad|
|Finke names much-changed Cameroon squad|
|Grant omits World Cup troublemakers for AFCON|
|Blackpool striker Ranger goes AWOL|
|Allardyce relishing Mourinho meeting|
|Ashley fails to increase Rangers stake|
|Crystal Palace v Southampton: Koeman calls for focus|
|Warnock targeting striker in January|
|Chelsea v West Ham: Adrian vows visitors will attack|
|Heskey signs short-term deal at Bolton|
|Everton v Stoke City: Martinez eyes strong form|
|Juninho defends David Luiz|
|Burnley v Liverpool: Dyche defends Rodgers ahead of Turf Moor test|
|Arsenal v QPR: Wenger eyes festive momentum|
|Liverpool are growing in confidence, says Rodgers|
|Redknapp: Austin future could depend on survival|
|Martinez wants Everton consistency|
|Barca want Neymar until 2020, says agent|
|Jones undeterred by pressure of Liverpool starting role|
|Allardyce ´knows how to beat managers´ - Carroll|
|Jones playing for a new contract|
|China select Evergrande spine for Asian Cup|
|A-League Preview: Koren tips City to build|
|Khedira keen to fight for Real spot|
|Southampton confirm Elia deal|
|Cellino to remain as Leeds owner until after appeal|
|Manchester United v Newcastle United: Van Gaal demands domination|
|Van Gaal refuses to dismiss Bale speculation|
|Sunderland v Hull City: Bruce sure of Hull revival|
|Swansea City v Aston Villa: Lambert optimistic of away success|
|Agbonlahor red rescinded|
|Falcao depends on team-mates to perform - Van Gaal|
|Monk dismisses talk of Gomis move|
|West Brom v Manchester City: Pellegrini to experiment again|
|Xavi: I was ready for New York switch|
|Ibrahimovic fumes at awards snub|
|Irvine: No approaches for Berahino|
|Pearson determined to revive Leicester fortunes|
|League Two Preview: First host third as Wycombe meet Luton|
|League One Preview: Buoyant MK Dons eye more glory, Bristol City seek response|
|Championship Preview: Pritchard plotting to end Ipswich run, Bournemouth host Fulham|
|Kaboul place not guaranteed by captaincy - Pochettino|
|Koeman hopeful of Elia deal|
|Atletico president not ruling out Torres return|
|Swansea secure Oliveira signing|
|No excuses for Pellegrini|
|Walcott pace unaffected by injury|
|Former Real Madrid star Roberto Carlos backs Ronaldo for Ballon d´Or|
|Former PFA chairman Carlisle ´stable´ after serious incident|
|Balotelli remorse saved him from longer ban|
|Bayern midfielder Martinez ´on track´ with rehab|
|Pardew ´overjoyed´ at Gutierrez return|
|Spurs confirm Yedlin to join in January|
|Zeman sacked by Cagliari|
|Casillas: I´m going nowhere|
|Bruce demands McShane apology|
|Pulis would welcome Brighton talks|
|Buffon: Juve angry after Supercoppa loss|
|Arteta out until new year|
|Rangnick: Kampl deserves Dortmund switch|
|PFA offers support to Carlisle after serious incident|
|Napoli can mount title bid - Higuain|
|Cech´s agent urges Liverpool and Arsenal to make bid|
|Hart happy to be back to his best|
|Terry thrilled with ´revelation´ Matic|
|Perez rues ´unfair´ Tyne-Wear derby result|
|Khalfan Ibrahim returns from injury|
|Magath slams ´sensitive´ Fulham|
|´Limited´ attacking options inspire Postecoglou´s selections|
|Carlisle reportedly involved in serious incident|
|Primeira Liga Review: Braga leapfrog Guimaraes|
|Hughes upbeat despite Stoke defeat|