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Euro 2012 qualifying preview: Belarus - France

Les Bleus will look to exact revenge on Friday night after Bernd Stange's men secured a shock victory back in September.

By Mohammed Ali

Equipe de France mix

Equipe de France mix

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Belarus (4-4-2)Zhevnov; Shitov, Martynovich, Verkhovtsov, Amelyanchuk; Kalachow, Tigarev, Putsila, Kryvets; Varankow, V. Hleb

Bernd Stange has omitted Barcelona's Alexander Hleb from the squad to face France tomorrow. The midfielder, who has been on loan at relegated Birmingham, has suffered a string of injuries in the past season, and the German tactician believes the 30-year old isn't match fit for the top-of-the-table clash.

Striker Vitaly Kutuzov and midfielder Vitaly Rodionov, also miss out while Sergei Kornilenko, Dmitry Malosh and Alexander Kulchiy are suspended.

France (4-3-3)Lloris; Sagna, Sakho, Rami, Evra; M'Vila; Matuidi, Nasri; Ribery, Malouda; Benzema

Laurent Blanc is waiting on the fitness of Loic Remy and Abou Diaby ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifying fixture against Belarus on Friday. It was reported earlier this week that both players sat out training due to persistent injuries.

Blanc has also called up a number of fringe players and new faces to the squad, most notably Younes Kaboul and Sochaux's Marvin Martin, who enjoyed a stellar club season and may play a part in this fixture, albeit from the bench.

  • France has not lost a game since the surprise defeat to Belarus in September and sits top of Group D, four points clear.
  • Laurent Blanc's men have won six of their previous seven games since.
  • Les Bleus have also notched up four successive victories in their qualifying campaign in that period.
  • Laurent Blanc, who is battling a race quota scandal, will look to make it five competitive wins in succession, a feat that has not occurred since 2003.
  • Les Bleus made hard work of overcoming minnows Luxembourg in their previous qualifier, as they laboured to a 2-0 in unconvincing fashion.
  • They were also held in their previous international, which saw them play out a goalless draw against Croatia in March.
  • France occupies 19th position in the World Rankings.
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