France prepare for WC qualifier against Cyprus

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:52 IST

France play host to Cyprus today in a crucial final Group Four World Cup qualifying match.

France prepare for WC qualifier against Cyprus

Clairefontaine:

France play host to Cyprus today in a crucial final Group Four World Cup qualifying match. The French will book their trip to Germany next year if they win in Paris and Switzerland fail to beat Ireland in Dublin. However, if Switzerland triumph at Lansdowne Road, France would need to win by four goals more than the Swiss win to secure a direct place in next year's finals. Ireland themselves can still qualify as well, standing a point further back. Coach Raymond Domenech announced his line-up late on Tuesday for this vital match. He's made a number of key changes, with midfielder Sidney Govou replacing Lyon teammate Florent Malouda and Liverpool's Djibril Cisse starting as the second striker alongside Sylvain Wiltord. Scoring touch Zinedine Zidane scored the winning goal in the last game he played at the Stadede France and his country will be hoping he can find the scoring touch again today. The Real Madrid player knows the pressure will be on him to be both creator and finisher. The veteran international player is confident that his team will play well and get the result they need. If Switzerland draw or lose, any win would give France first place. A Swiss victory would leave France needing to beat Cyprus and overcome the three-goal difference. However, the second-place team will enter a two-leg playoff against another runner-up, with the winner advancing to the World Cup finals. (AP)

Topics : Football Cyprus
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