France wary ahead of Georgia match

France defender Rod Fanni believes Georgia's "collective strength" could help the eastern European nation spring a surprise in tomorrow's World Cup qualifying match.

Nasri celebrating France's equalizer.

The Marseille full-back, who was called up as Mathieu Debuchy's replacement, could turn out for Didier Deschamps' Les Bleus with next week's high-profile meeting against Spain looming large.

Having been thrown into a five-nation pool with the world and European champions, and with only one automatic place at next summer's finals in Brazil up for grabs, France must beat Georgia to assume control of Group I ahead of Tuesday's showdown.

And Fanni is urging his team-mates not to underestimate a Georgia side who have claimed four points from their qualifying games to date, having restricted Spain to an attritional 1-0 win in the second round of fixtures.

He told "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.

"French teams are typically stronger on an individual level."

Despite their recent good form Georgia have failed to win in 17 of their last 18 qualifying matches while a rejuvenated France side are unbeaten in 32 of their last 35 World Cup games.

"There have been a lot of changes," Fanni added. "This is healthy group that is playing well and everybody cares, which is a very good sign.

"The results have been good and this is a much calmer France team which has the desire to build for the future with a lot of youngsters."

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, 20, and Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, 19, could make their senior debuts at the Stade de France, with Deschamps considering handing rare starts to midfielders Maxime Gonalons, Dimitri Payet and Moussa Sissoko.

Winger Franck Ribery and midfielder Yohan Cabaye face late fitness tests but could well be rested with next week's visit of Spain in mind.

Christophe Jallet could beat Fanni to a starting berth at right-back but the latter is just pleased to be back in Deschamps' thoughts.

He added: "The French team is something special, in my opinion. These are some important games so it's great that I'm here.

"I've never thought I'm not good enough and if they call me I turn up and give my all."

Georgia coach Temuri Ketsbaia, meanwhile, is without defender Akaki Khubutia as he plots the win that would draw the Crusaders level on points with second-placed France.

The former Newcastle midfielder is unlikely to make many changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Belarus in the last qualifying game, with Tornike Okriashvili likely to support striker Levan Mchedlidze as 20-year-old Spartak Moscow winger Jano Ananidze moves out to the right wing.


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