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WC Qualification Europe

  • October 16, 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid
  • Referee: F. Brych
  • • Attendance: 46825

Spain - France Preview: Les Bleus out for revenge in Euro 2012 rematch

Spain - France Preview: Les Bleus out for revenge in Euro 2012 rematch


Didier Deschamps faces his sternest test yet as national team boss when he brings his side to the Vicente Calderon to take on the world and double European champions



Arbeloa, Albiol, Ramos, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Alonso
Pedro, Fabregas, Iniesta


Debuchy, Koscielny, Sakho, Evra
Sissoko, Cabaye, Matuidi
Menez, Benzema, Ribery

Spain have no fresh injury concerns heading into Tuesday's Group I World Cup qualifier against France.

Andres Iniesta is set to return to the starting line-up after being rested on the bench for Friday's win at Belarus, while Cesc Fabregas should continue in his 'false nine' role up front.

Coach Vicente del Bosque may restore Sergio Busquets to his natural position in midfield and bring in Raul Albiol in central defence to counter the attacking threat of the visitors.

Midfielder Clement Chantome misses out for France after picking up a groin problem in the 1-0 friendly defeat against Japan.

The Paris Saint-Germain player's injury further curtails boss Didier Deschamps's midfield options, with Abou Diaby and Rio Mavuba both sidelined.

However, Yohan Cabaye and Patrice Evra are back in the frame after making recoveries from rib and back problems respectively.

  • Spain are on a record 24-match winning run in World Cup and European Championship qualifiers.
  • The Iberian outfit have won four of their last five encounters with France, including their 2-0 victory in the quarter-final of Euro 2012.
  • Sergio Busquets and Santi Cazorla are in line to win their 50th caps for Spain.
  • France have won just two of their last six fixtures, including friendlies, and have scored just four goals in those matches.
  • Les Bleus's Euro 2012 quarter-final defeat was their first ever competitive loss to Spain.
  • Karim Benzema (pictured right) has not scored in his last eight appearances for France.

Players to watch


Position: Midfielder

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The Barcelona playmaker brings order and composure to Spain's passing and will pose a tough test for the relatively inexperienced French defensive midfield duo of Blaise Matuidi and Moussa Sissoko. If France are to take anything away from this fixture, they may have to find a way to win the midfield battle and disrupt Xavi's distribution to the forward line.

K. Benzema

Position: Attacker

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The 24-year-old striker has long garnered criticism for his international record of just 15 goals in 53 appearances since making his senior debut in March 2007. The visitors will hope Benzema's first-hand knowledge of his Real Madrid team-mates Sergio Ramos, Raul Albiol and Iker Casillas can help breach a Spanish backline that has shipped just one goal in its last nine outings.

Editor's Prediction

With an embarrassment of riches in midfield and attack, and with players coming into form, Spain will start as massive favourites to extend their winning run in qualifying matches. France cannot be written off, but they have failed to convince defensively and in front of goal in recent matches.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Spain ESP
Spain Spain
France FRA
France France

Top 3 Predictions

Spain ESP
3 - 1
France FRA
Spain ESP
2 - 0
France FRA
Spain ESP
2 - 1
France FRA