PARIS (Reuters) - France must take the game to their opponents if they are to beat Belarus in their final qualifier on Tuesday and book their place for next year’s World Cup, team captain Hugo Lloris said on Monday.
Les Bleus, who have at least secured a playoff spot, will top Group A with victory at the Stade de France or if they draw and second-placed Sweden fail to beat the Netherlands. Defeat would also send them to Russia if Sweden lose. They have 20 points to Sweden’s 19. Belarus are already eliminated but goalkeeper Lloris, who made a decisive save in Saturday’s 1-0 away win against Bulgaria, believes they will play defensively. “Every team struggle against sides who play compact behind. We must be aggressive from the start,” Lloris told a news conference.
“They’re coming here to defend so we will have to find the solution.” France have been struggling lately but coach Didier Deschamps said he would keep the faith in young players like 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe. “You don’t get international experience just like that. But even if results are paramount, I stick with them because that’s how they will get experience,” said Deschamps.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge