Paris: France coach Didier Deschamps on Monday admitted that he could be persuaded to rest players for Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Georgia with the following game against Spain in mind.
Les Bleus go into a Group I double-header of games at the Stade de France looking to build on a good start to their Brazil 2014 qualifying campaign, with Georgia first up on Friday before the European and world champions visit next Tuesday.
Deschamps has emphasised the need to put all thoughts of Spain to one side until the Georgia game is out of the way, but he knows that midfield trio Blaise Matuidi, Maxime Gonalons and Yohan Cabaye are all a booking away from a suspension, as is centre-back Laurent Koscielny.
One bad challenge against Georgia would see them miss the meeting with Spain, thereby reducing the coach’s options for what is a huge match.
“I need to think about the fact that I have four players who will miss the next game if they are booked, including three midfelders,” he said, before accepting that resting the quartet in question is in his thoughts.
“It is a possibility but that doesn’t mean I will do it. If I do so, it goes against my discourse of ‘the next match is the most important one.'”
He added: “There is a lot to think about in terms of physical freshness, especially when we have two matches against teams with totally different profiles.
“We need to focus all of our energy on the first match, to win it and then think about the game that follows four days later, even if most people are thinking more about Spain.”
Deschamps, who expects Georgia to adopt a defensive approach in the game, also revealed his confidence in Raphael Varane’s ability to make the step up to the national side.
“There is always a risk when a player makes his debut but he has to start sometime,” he said of the 19-year-old central defender, who has been outstanding for Real Madrid in recent weeks.
“Given his potential and his performances over the last few weeks with Real, I have no doubts as to his quality but the context will be different. This is the national team. Can he handle that? Yes, I think so.”