Spain & France focus on short-term

A look ahead to Friday night's action in European World Cup Qualifying Group I.

Last Updated: 21/03/13 at 17:27 Post Comment

Vicente Del Bosque: Not yet focusing on France match

Vicente Del Bosque: Not yet focusing on France match

Spain and France are determined to remain focused on their immediate challenges rather than be distracted by next week's crunch World Cup qualifier between the pair in Paris.

The two European heavyweights face each other on Tuesday in a match which could well decide which nation ultimately wins automatic qualification out of the five-team Group I.

The big two are currently level on seven points at the top of the standings after winning their opening two matches and then drawing 1-1 in Madrid in October.

However, before they can think about that match, both countries are in action on Friday night, with reigning world and European champions Spain playing host to Finland in Gijon and France welcoming Georgia to the Stade de France.

Both the Spanish and French will be expected to pick up three-point hauls on a home soil, but neither is taking anything for granted.

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque, whose side face a Finnish team who are bottom of Group I but have only played twice so far, told reporters: "We're only thinking about tomorrow, tomorrow is the most important match. After that we will think about France.

"We know that it's such a short qualifying phase and now we are playing two 'finals', just like France play against Georgia and against us.

"My message is not to get distracted, to keep our full attention on tomorrow's match."

France defender Rod Fanni has also warned his side against underestimating Georgia.

The eastern European nation are third in the group having claimed four points from their four qualifying games to date.

They also restricted Spain to an attritional 1-0 win in the second round of fixtures and Marseille full-back Fanni, who was called up as Mathieu Debuchy's replacement, told fff.fr: "Everything points to this game being a trap for us.

"They are a very tough team, very organised and we have to respect them and not take them lightly.

"They can play tricks on us and although I don't know any individual players I am worried about their collective strength. That's what we need to worry about."


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