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Tuesday October 15, 2013 MYT 12:52:01 AM
Tuesday October 15, 2013 MYT 12:52:11 AM
France's soccer players Franck Ribery (L) and Samir Nasri attend a training session with teammates at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, near Paris, October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
PARIS (Reuters) - France have written off their chances of topping World Cup Group I qualifying and do not believe there is any chance of leaders Spain tripping up at home to Georgia on Tuesday.
World and European champions Spain have a three-point lead over second-placed France and simply need to avoid defeat to qualify for next year's finals in Brazil.
"Spain did the job on Friday (by beating Belarus 2-1) and we don't expect them to fail tomorrow," captain Hugo Lloris told a news conference at the Stade de France ahead of his team's final match against out-of-contention Finland.
"Yes, we already have the playoffs next month in mind."
France coach Didier Deschamps echoed the thoughts of skipper Lloris.
"You have to be realistic," said Deschamps. "There's a very high probability that we will be in the playoffs."
France crushed Australia 6-0 in a friendly on Friday but the coach said he was expecting a much more difficult game against Finland.
"It will be tougher tomorrow, they have been preparing for this match for 10 days and I don't expect them to come out just for a stroll," added Deschamps.
(Reporting by Gregory Blachier, editing by Tony Jimenez)
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