Blanc expects different challenge in Romania
France coach Laurent Blanc is expecting a different type of game against Romania on Tuesday in their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier after overcoming Albania in a physical battle on Friday.
France cruised into a two-goal lead in Tirana thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Yann M'Vila but endured a scare or two before closing out a 2-1 win that leaves Les Bleus top of Group D with 16 points after seven games. "Every match is different and every team offers a different threat," Blanc said after arriving in the Romanian capital on Monday. "From what I have seen Romania are more of a footballing side than Albania. They really try to play football, and are a less aggressive team, but the France team needs to play well first and foremost in order to win the match."
Blanc admitted that he has one or two injury worries and said that changes to his starting line-up are likely for what will be the inaugural match at Romania's new 55,600-capacity National Arena. "We have a few doubts but no-one has pulled out of the match at this point," he said. "Cedric Carrasso has an ankle problem, Patrice Evra has a sore knee and Samir Nasri has a foot problem. He picked up a knock in training yesterday [Sunday] in the same place in which he was hit against Albania.
"In any case the team will be different to the one that played against Albania because we will need to play differently against Romania," he added. "That said we will keep the same philosophy, trying to keep possession and playing attractive football. If we do that we can guarantee a good result."
Blanc - who dismissed claims of a rift between Florent Malouda and Franck Ribery with both keen to start on their favoured left wing - will nevertheless settle for three points above all else. "To get the same result as in Albania would be not bad for starters. We are in a competition here and the important thing is to qualify," he said. "Some coaches will say; 'we don't care how we play, all that matters is winning' and they are right. If we can win and add in some spells of good football then great, but that is the hardest part of all."
France are currently three points clear of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a win would set them up nicely ahead of their final two matches, at home to Albania and the Bosnians next month.