France coach Didier Deschamps warned there was no worry in his camp ahead of a tough 2014 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against world champions Spain despite an injury crisis and the suspension of defender Mapou Yanga Mbiwa.
Anzhi Makhachkala's Lassana Diarra has picked up a back injury to join Rio Mavuba and Abou Diaby on the injury list ahead of Friday's friendly against Japan and the Spain tie on 16 October in Madrid.
Diarra will be replaced by Paris Saint Germain midfielder Clement Chantome, and Deschamps is confident his side have what it takes to match their Group I rivals. "There is no worry, there's a reality," said Deschamps. "There are players with different profiles and whose experience on an international level is quite weak, apart from Yohan [Cabaye]," he said.
"But I've nothing to be worried about and I don't want the players to be. We're going to fight with the weapons we have, and the players we have," he said. "The lack of experience can be made up by determination and willpower."
Midfielder Moussa Sissoko said: "Spain's main strength is their midfield. This kind of team don't like being pushed around physically. It's up to us to put pressure on them in this area. If we succeed, we'll have done a large part of the work."
Deschamps said that they would also be trying to experiment against Asian champions Japan in their Stade de France tie. "One of the advantages of the match against Japan is to find our mark. The aim is to arrive fresh on Tuesday and keep the players in the rhythm.
"I'm not going to tell the players that it's more important Friday than Tuesday, otherwise they'd take me for a madman, but the best way to prepare for the match in Spain is to do things well on Friday. For our confidence and our campaign, that can be important," he said.