Football

France looking for goal-fest against Switzerland

France coach Deschamps hoping for a goal-fest against Switzerland

GROUP E

SWITZERLAND v FRANCE

(Tomorrow, 3am, SingTel mio TV Ch 141 & StarHub TV Ch 223)

Didier Deschamps is hoping for another high-scoring game in Salvador tomorrow morning (Singapore time) when France play Switzerland at the stadium where the most World Cup goals have been scored so far.

The French meet the Swiss in the key Group E clash at Salvador's Arena Fonte Nova, which has already seen 10 World Cup goals in two matches, and the France coach wants another goal bonanza.

Holland started the trend in Salvador when they hammered holders Spain 5-1 last Friday, then Germany also went goal-crazy in their 4-0 romp against Portugal on Monday.

Now Deschamps, France's World Cup winning captain in 1998, is hoping the French and Swiss also catch a dose of goal fever - provided his team win, of course.

"I hope so for the public, the fans who come want to see as many goals as possible," said Deschamps.

"You can have very good goalless draws, but it's always better if you score a few.

"With the two games we have had here in Salvador, there were lots of great goals scored, and I hope that continues."

LAST GASP

France top Group E after their 3-0 win over Honduras, just ahead of Switzerland who needed a last-gasp goal against Ecuador to seal a 2-1 win.

Meanwhile, France captain Patrice Evra is confident that team unity will see Les Bleus build on their impressive start to the World Cup campaign.

The opening 3-0 win over Honduras was in marked contrast to the last World Cup in 2010, which ended acrimoniously with captain Evra leading a players' strike in response to striker Nicolas Anelka being sent home from the squad.

Manchester United fullback Evra admitted that campaign in South Africa "destroyed" him but he is far more upbeat this time around.

"You need everyone in the World Cup, you cannot give up because you're not starting a game," he said.

EGOS

"We do not have a problem with egos in this team. I have faith in this squad, and that's a great strength.

"The star isn't one player, it's the team."

And that extends to the whole squad, with the skipper admitting he is not even certain of his starting place, with Paris St Germain's Lucas Digne waiting in the wings should his form slip.

"Nothing's ever certain with Deschamps," Evra said. "That's why I like to work with him. He never gives you presents.

"He'll look you in the eyes and say, 'Pat, if you mess up I won't spare you'. I know that if I step out of line, I'm out of this team."

Opponents Switzerland had to work much harder for their opening win and required Haris Seferovic's 93rd-minute goal to overcome Ecuador 2-1.

With the combative but limited Hondurans to come, assistant coach Michel Pont is in no doubt Les Bleus present the toughest test of his side's group campaign.

He said. "They are very well-organised, compact and work hard for one another. Putting 10 men back and waiting to see what happens is not the answer, we have to challenge them in the game."

Admir Mehmedi, scorer of Switzerland's first goal against Ecuador moments after coming on as a half-time substitute, could well have earned himself an elevation into the starting 11 with Valentin Stocker, the man he replaced in Brasilia, seemingly the most vulnerable. - Wire Services.


You can have very good goalless draws, but it’s always better if you score a few. With the two games we’ve had here in Salvador, there were lots of great goals scored, and I hope that continues.

— France coach Didier Deschamps

World Cup