12 October, 2017
A crucial 1-0 win in Bulgaria secured by Blaise Matuidi's goal was more pleasing for the result than the performance and Deschamps is set to freshen up his side against Belarus, leaning towards a return to the 4-4-2 that worked so well in the 4-0 success over the Dutch at the end of August.
But Didier Deschamps's side closed out the vital win, and three points at home to Belarus on Tuesday would book their ticket to Russian Federation.
"There was a bit of tiredness and fragility because a lot was at stake", Deschamps said. "It's a special game for the whole team because it's our last chance to take points and prove to everybody that we're capable of competing against very good opposition".
"I can't count on him for the next game".
See how to watch Tuesday's match below.
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France leads its group in the Europe Confederation with 20 points, winning six and losing just one match. Talk in the build-up to this game had centred on a match 24 years ago when Bulgaria had denied France a place at the 1994 World Cup in the United States. At the Stade de France, the French team has validated his ticket for the next world Cup in the face of Belarus (2-1).
"Every team struggle against sides who play compact behind".
Of course, France has also dropped points to Belarus in qualifying, falling to a scoreless draw to Tuesday's opponents 13 months ago.
"For quite some time we have had an atmosphere that we have not always had, people come and are deep behind this team", he added. It wasn't all plain sailing for France as the engine was stripped out of their midfield 10 minutes before half-time when Chelsea's N'Golo Kante went off with a hamstring injury, to be replaced by Adrien Rabiot.