World Cup qualifying: France v Georgia preview
Last Updated: 21/03/13 12:49pm
Rod Fanni: Battles with Ribery in training
France defender Rod Fanni believes Georgia's "collective strength" could help the eastern European nation spring a surprise in Friday night's World Cup qualifying match.
The Marseille full-back, who was called up as Mathieu Debuchy's replacement, could turn out for Didier Deschamps' Les Bleus with next week's high-profile meeting against Spain looming large.
Having been thrown into a five-nation pool with the world and European champions, and with only one automatic place at next summer's finals in Brazil up for grabs, France must beat Georgia to assume control of Group I ahead of Tuesday's showdown.
And Fanni is urging his team-mates not to underestimate a Georgia side who have claimed four points from their qualifying games to date, having restricted Spain to an attritional 1-0 win in the second round of fixtures.
He told the FFF website: "Everything points to this game being a trap for us. They are a very tough team, very organised and we have to respect them and not take them lightly.
"They can play tricks on us and although I don't know any individual players I am worried about their collective strength. That's what we need to worry about.
"French teams are typically stronger on an individual level."
Despite their recent good form, Georgia have failed to win in 17 of their last 18 qualifying matches while a rejuvenated France side are unbeaten in 32 of their last 35 World Cup games.
"There have been a lot of changes," Fanni added. "This is healthy group that is playing well and everybody cares, which is a very good sign.
"The results have been good and this is a much calmer France team which has the desire to build for the future with a lot of youngsters."
Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, 20, and Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, 19, could make their senior debuts at the Stade de France (kick-off 8pm GMT), with Deschamps considering handing rare starts to midfielders Maxime Gonalons, Dimitri Payet and Moussa Sissoko.
Winger Franck Ribery and midfielder Yohan Cabaye face late fitness tests but could well be rested with next week's visit of Spain in mind.
Christophe Jallet could beat Fanni to a starting berth at right-back but the latter is just pleased to be back in Deschamps' thoughts.
He added: "The French team is something special, in my opinion. These are some important games so it's great that I'm here.
"I've never thought I'm not good enough and if they call me I turn up and give my all."
Georgia coach Temuri Ketsbaia, meanwhile, is without defender Akaki Khubutia as he plots the win that would draw the Crusaders level on points with second-placed France.
The former Newcastle midfielder is unlikely to make many changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Belarus in the last qualifying game, with Tornike Okriashvili likely to support striker Levan Mchedlidze as 20-year-old Spartak Moscow winger Jano Ananidze moves out to the right wing.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Fri 22nd Mar - Group F
Israel3 - 3Portugal
Luxembourg0 - 0Azerbaijan
Fri 22nd Mar - Group B
Bulgaria6 - 0Malta
Czech Rep0 - 3Denmark
Fri 22nd Mar - Group A
Croatia2 - 0Serbia
Macedonia0 - 2Belgium
Scotland1 - 2Wales
Fri 22nd Mar - Group E
Slovenia1 - 2Iceland
Norway0 - 1Albania
Fri 22nd Mar - Group C
Kazakhstan0 - 3Germany
Austria6 - 0Faroe Islands
Sweden0 - 0Rep Ireland
Fri 22nd Mar - Group D
Andorra0 - 2Turkey
Hungary2 - 2Romania
Netherlands3 - 0Estonia
Fri 22nd Mar - Group G
Liechtenstein1 - 1Latvia
Slovakia1 - 1Lithuania
Bosnia3 - 1Greece
Fri 22nd Mar - Group H
Moldova0 - 1Montenegro
Poland1 - 3Ukraine
San Marino0 - 8England
Fri 22nd Mar - Group I
Spain1 - 1Finland
France3 - 1Georgia
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C
|4||Republic of Ireland||10||14|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I