While Les Bleus were warming up for Tuesday night's visit of Finland with a 6-0 friendly victory over Australia, Spain were edging out Belarus 2-1 to take a three-point lead into the final round of games.
That result left France boss Deschamps with only one option if he was to mastermind a last-ditch raid on top spot - beat Finland while praying fourth-placed Georgia could trump the world champions in Albacete.
A significant swing in goal difference would also be required, further lengthening France's odds of usurping Spain.
But the vigour with which his players embarrassed Australia last week pleased Deschamps and, come what may in the race for first place, he will certainly take comfort from a similar performance at the Stade de France.
He told reporters: "When I prepare for a game, I always prepare for the win.
"Secondly, we are out to score as many goals as possible.
"But even if today there is still a chance that we could qualify, the stronger possibility is that we will have to go through the play-offs.
"The Spanish have their destiny in their own hands."
Georgia's paltry haul of three goals from seven games gives Spain more than enough reason to be confident they can clinch the single point they need.
However, Arsenal full-back Nacho Monreal expects the eastern European nation to arrive in Spain determined to frustrate their attack-minded hosts.
He told reporters: "At first glance it should be similar to the Belarus match.
"They showed in Georgia that they are a very compact team, they defended with 11 men behind the ball and they made things very difficult for us.
"It will be the same on Tuesday, they will sit back and defend all game, and the only solution is to keep being ourselves, this philosophy has given us so much success and we need to stick with it."
Belarus, whose only victory came at the expense of Georgia, prop up the group with only four points after their campaign drew to a close on Friday.