France-Georgia Preview: Deschamps' men aim to warm up for Spain with win
Les Bleus might've lost their first game of the calendar year, but they hope to continue where they left off in Group I against Ketsbaia's side ahead of the visit of the champions
By Mohammed Ali
Jallet, Koscielny, Sakho, Evra
Valbuena, Matuidi, Cabaye, Ribery
Kashia, Amisulashvili, Khizanishvili
Kankava, Daushvili, Grigalashvili
France coach Didier Deschamps is set to tinker with his side against Georgia on Friday evening, ahead of the potential group decider against world champions Spain in Paris next week.
The former Marseille boss hinted earlier in the week he may try a 4-4-2 formation, with Karim Benzema and Arsenal's Olivier Giroud both starting against the Eastern European outfit.
With Mathieu Debuchy pulling out of the squad after limping off in Newcastle's game against Wigan on Sunday, Deschamps has called upon a familiar face in the form of Rod Fanni. The Marseille defender could be in line for a start should Paris Saint-Germain's Christophe Jallet fail to make the grade.
Young talents Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane are set to be benched, with Deschamps preferring the tried and tested duo of Laurent Koscielny and Mamadou Sakho in defence.
Georgia coach Temuri Ketsbaia is also without a few players due to injury. Defender Akaki Khubutia failed to join the side to train on Wednesday at Stade Charlety due to travel issues, while Zurab Khizanishvili and Jano Ananidze will be known faces to many European football aficionados.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
France have won two out of their three World Cup qualifiers in the 2014 cycle, dropping points only to Spain.
Les Bleus lost their last fixture to Germany, in an international friendly in February.
- The two nations have only met twice before, in qualification for Euro 2008. France won 1-0 in Paris, before a 3-0 win in Tbilisi (pictured right).
- Georgia sit in third place in Group I of World Cup qualifying. A win against France would take them level on points.
- The Eastern European side's win over Albania last month was their first in five games.
Georgia occupy 69th position in the world rankings, while Levan Kobiashvili heads the all-time Georgia caps tally with 100.
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Top 3 Predictions
France 2-0 Georgia
- 17.73 %
France 3-0 Georgia
- 15.6 %
France 3-1 Georgia
- 9.04 %
|World Cup Qualifying - UEFA (WCQ)||Sep 6, 2013||Georgia 0 - France 0|
|World Cup Qualifying - UEFA (WCQ)||Mar 22, 2013||France 3 - Georgia 1|
|Euro 2012 (EC)||Jun 6, 2007||France 1 - Georgia 0|
|Euro 2012 (EC)||Sep 2, 2006||Georgia 0 - France 3|
|Nov 19, 2013||France 3 - Ukraine 0||WCQ|
|Nov 15, 2013||Ukraine 2 - France 0||WCQ|
|Oct 15, 2013||France 3 - Finland 0||WCQ|
|Oct 11, 2013||France 6 - Australia 0||FR|
|Sep 10, 2013||Belarus 2 - France 4||WCQ|