France bidding for revenge in Madrid

France bidding for revenge in Madrid

MADRID - Agence France-Presse
France bidding for revenge in Madrid

Forward Karim Benzema (R) will be the main goal threat for France, who is seeking a revenge against World and European champion Spain tonight. ABACAPRESS photo

Spain and France go into tonight’s World Cup qualifier in Madrid in very different form and with little margin for error in Group I, from which only the winner is guaranteed a place in Brazil in 2014.

Spain remains confident after a 4-0 win in Belarus last week, while France crashed to a 1-0 friendly defeat at home to Japan.

The clash comes less than four months since La Roja comfortably beat France 2-0 courtesy of a Xabi Alonso double in the quarterfinals of Euro 2012.

Spain, who leads the group on goal difference over tonight’s visitors, usually plays without a recognized striker, since the Euro 2012. If that is the case, it will mean there will be no sentimental start for Fernando Torres at Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon Stadium, where he started his career.

“It’s a special place for me and if I do play, it’ll be for the first time since I left a long time ago, which motivates me more than ever,” the Chelsea striker said.

France will be content with a point in Madrid, as coach Didier Deschamps admitted.

“Spain are frightening. At the moment we are not comparable at all with them and nobody should be bothered by that [statement], because it’s true,” he told the daily Marca. “Spain is the model that we all want to be, or try to copy. That does not mean we are going there to lose. We know what we have to do.”