france

France v Ukraine : Odds suggest tough night for French to qualify for World Cup

Didier Deschamps’s side face an uphill task to qualify with the latest France v Ukraine odds suggesting a narrow home win, with many predicting the French coming up just short (KO 20:00GMT).

Didier Deschamps side lost 2-0 in the first leg on Friday night and they will need to produce a much better performance if they are to avoid elimination and miss out on a first world cup since 1994.

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Despite the tough challenge that awaits his side Deschamps remains hopeful that they can turn things around and reach a fifth successive world cup.

“What awaits us on Tuesday is the possibility to turn the tide,” he told TF1.

“We must apply pressure, but also be aware that they will not keep 10 players behind the ball.

“They will not come to defend. It will require total football and that we maintain a high tempo from beginning to end.”

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud was disappointed with his side’s performance in the first leg but believes his side can turn things around in Paris.

“We are ready to die on the field to get there” He said.

“We want to show the French people and to ourselves that we are proud to represent France. We want to make proud all the people who love us and support us.

“I am offended (with the first-leg display). I want to redeem myself. Like all my team-mates, I guess.

“They will give us exactly the same treatment on Tuesday. We won’t be surprised. They are going to hit us hard.

“We want to do better, to make history. It is a matter of pride. We’ll do it, I firmly believe. Today, I still can’t grasp the idea of France not going to Brazil.”

The French will head into the game without the suspended Laurent Koscielny, following his sending off in Kiev.

Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane is the most likely replacement for the Arsenal defender after Deschamps revealed that the 20-year-old has made a speedy recovery from a knee injury.

Ukraine meanwhile will also be without a key defender with Oleksandr Kucher out following his red card in injury time.

Mikhail Fomenko’s side have kept eight successive clean sheets and a ninth would seal only their world cup appearance and first since 2006, when they reached the quarter-finals.

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