Belarus vs France – FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Preview

Posted on by Sreya

France vs Sweden

Belarus hosts France at the Borisov Arena, Barysaw on 6th September, Tuesday in the first round of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification for UEFA countries. Drawn into Group A which also contains Netherlands, Sweden, Bulgaria and Luxembourg, this will be France’s first competitive fixture since they lost the 2016 European Championship final to Portugal earlier this summer.

With the 2016 European championships being held at home, the Les Bleus were firm favorites while Belarus failed to qualify for this summer’s competition. On the opposite spectrum of expectations, both nations have to start from scratch for qualification into the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

While the likes of Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet have already joined with the national squad, the main question surrounding the French squad is whether Karim Benzema will ever return to international fold in French colours.

Involved in a controversial scandal, Benzema was suspended during France’s European Championship journey, but he might be available for selection sooner than expected. The Real Madrid forward, who is still recuperating from his injury and yet to make a club appearance this season, was handed a boost by the President of French Football Federation.

“I am against lifetime punishments. He already missed the Euros, that’s something. The problem hasn’t been raised for the moment, but he’s available for selection. The day when justice will be done, only then will Didier decide whether to integrate him or not.”

– Noel Le Graet.

France are in a tricky group for progressing to the next round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers, with Netherlands set to make a strong comeback after missing out on the Euros this summer. The presence of Sweden and Bulgaria brings in unpredictability and France need to be on their toes in each and every match to avoid any unpleasant qualification scenarios.

According to Head-2-Head statistics, France have won two, lost one and drew one of their matches against Belarus till date. France are coming of a 3-1 win over Italy and will start as clear favorites. France are expected to win 3-0 on Tuesday evening.

 

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