World Cup news

Valbuena warns of Spain backlash

March 23, 2013
By ESPN staff

Mathieu Valbuena believes France may face a backlash from Spain after the World Cup holders could only draw 1-1 with Finland on Friday night.

France meet Spain on Tuesday night in a game which could go a long way to deciding who wins their World Cup qualifying group, which Les Bleus currently lead by two points.

And Didier Deschamps team are in buoyant mood following a professional 3-1 win against Georgia, but Valbuena insists they must still be cautious.

"We approach this meeting with much more confidence," he said. "Before the game, everyone spoke of Spain, but the most important thing was to beat Georgia to put us in a good mood.

"Spain drew with Finland and that shows there are no small matches at international level, so we need to be even more wary."

The carrot could not be more lucrative for France, though. A five-point lead would put them in total command of the group and put Spain on course for a play-off to get through.

"This is the scenario that everyone wants,'' the Marseille midfielder added. "It will need a good rest to prepare well for this game. It is against the best team in the world."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.