Paris: Spain coach Vincente Del Bosque has admitted he fears France ahead of the two European giants’ 2014 World Cup qualifier at the Stade de France next Tuesday.
The world champions began their qualifying campaign as Group I favourites but having previously drawn at home to France, they run the risk of missing out on top spot should they fail to take something away from their Paris encounter.
And Del Bosque is not underestimating the threat posed by Didier Deschamps’s team.
“Of course I’m wary of this match, I have a lot of respect for the French and right now there isn’t a big difference between the teams,” said Del Bosque.
“There are some great players in the French team, as good as in ours.”
France stunned the world and European champions in their previous group encounter by earning a 1-1 draw in Madrid.
And Del Bosque admits they deserved their reward.
“In the second half they were better. (Mathieu) Valbuena’s entry brought them a lot,” he said.
Ahead of the return leg in France, Del Bosque has yet to decide who will replace injured goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas.
Liverpool’s Pepe Reina and Barcelona stopper Victor Valdes are vying for the starting berth.
“They’re both experienced goalkeepers, they’re the same age and they offer the same assurances,” said Del Bosque.