Deschamps not worried by France drought

Coach Didier Deschamps is not losing any sleep over France's scoreless run as they head into their vital World Cup qualifier against Belarus.

Football News: Didier Deschamps

Following last Friday's goalless draw with Georgia Les Bleus have now gone five games without finding the net, the longest drought in the 109-year history of the national team.

Their previous qualifier in March saw them lose 1-0 to world and European champions Spain, who now lead Group I by three points, while they were also kept at bay in friendlies against Brazil, Uruguay and Belgium in between times.

But Deschamps told reporters at a press conference: "I'm not worried.

"I am not going to say that this pleases me or makes me proud but it doesn't stop me from sleeping at night.

"We have another game now and the aim remains to take points. We all have room to improve, but failing to score is never something you can be certain of avoiding when you face opponents whose plan is to keep it tight."

That is likely to be the case once again in Minsk, against opponents who prop up the group with four points from six games - though all four have come in home games.

France's barren run has brought particular focus on Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who has not scored for his country since his double against Estonia in their final warm-up game for last summer's European Championship.

Benzema's rivals for a striking place, Olivier Giroud and Andre-Pierre Gignac, have begun the season in fine form for their respective clubs Arsenal and Marseille but Deschamps insists no decision has yet been taken on his line-up.

"You want to know who will start and who will not?" he asked. "I have not decided, genuinely. I will make the decision based on what is best for the team."

An injury doubt over Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery, who is struggling with a buttock muscle problem, adds to France's attacking worries while Monaco midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia (calf) is also uncertain.

Deschamps is not concerned by his side's slip to second place in the group and is content to secure a ticket for Brazil through the play-offs if need be.

"Initially our target was a top-two place," said the 44-year-old.

"At one point we were ahead of Spain. We're not any more, but we remain on course."

Georgi Kondratiev's Belarus go into the game on the back of a 3-1 friendly win over Kyrgyzstan, having been the odd team out in the five-team group in the first fixture of the qualifying double-header.



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