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Soccer Football – World Cup – France Training – France Training Camp, Moscow, Russia – June 18, 2018 General view of France’s Antoine Griezmann with team mates during training REUTERS/Albert Gea
June 23, 2018
ISTRA, Russia (Reuters) – Argentine’s woes mean that France could face them in the last 16 of the World Cup, but Les Bleus have no intention to give up top spot in Group C when they face Denmark on Tuesday, especially after being criticized by their opponents’ coach.
Should they avoid defeat in Moscow, France will face the team who will finish second in Group D and Argentina, who have only one point from two games, could be that side.
“The aim is to finish top of the group, because it will help us get more confident,” full back Djibril Sidibe, who said he is ‘1,000 per cent fit’ after recovering from a knee injury, told a news conference on Saturday.
Les Bleus have already secured their place in the next round after a 2-1 win against Australia and a 1-0 victory against Peru.
“There is no risk that we will decompress,” Sidibe added.
There is also the fact that Denmark coach Age Hareide said last month that France were “nothing special” and that he didn’t “believe in this team”.
Sidibe said that France would be out to make him eat his words.
“He’s free to say whatever he wants. But let’s say that we will certainly use (his comments) to be even more motivated,” Sidibe said with a smile.
France coach Didier Deschamps could be tempted to rest some of his key players and Sidibe, whose injury means he lost his place in the starting line-up to Benjamin Pavard, will be keen to impress if he can start against Denmark.
“The goal would be to play the perfect match,” he said, adding, however, that he did not ask Deschamps for an explanation.
“We all respect the coach’s choices,” he explained.
(Writing by Julien Pretot in Rostov-on-Don; Editing by Christian Radnedge)