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France fear World Cup 'Group of Death'

Ben McPartland · 6 Dec 2013, 17:09

Published: 06 Dec 2013 12:47 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Dec 2013 17:09 GMT+01:00

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Most French football fans are just grateful that France are going to Brazil at all, after a rollercoaster play-off against Ukraine last month saw them scrape through to the finals next summer.

But Les Bleus' coach Didier Deschamps and his talented group of players will have already forgotten the scenes of jubilation that greeted qualification and will now be thinking of how far they can go in Brazil.

The answer to that question could depend greatly on the draw for the group stages of the 2014 tournament that take place later on Friday at 5pm French time (1pm in Brazil).

France, thanks to their poor recent record in tournaments, will be unseeded, meaning they are likely to come up against some of the world's footballing giants, including hosts Brazil.

Football governing body FIFA will be handling the draw and has come up with a system that appears designed to complicate and excite in equal measure.

France are currently in pot 4, alongside the likes of England, Portugal, Italy and Russia. See below:

Pot 1 (top eight seeds): Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Switzerland, Uruguay.

Pot 2: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chile, Ecuador.

Pot 3: Japan, Iran, South Korea, Australia, United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras.

Pot 4: Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, England, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, France.

However, one team from pot 4 is to be moved into pot 2, which Didier Deschamps will be desperately hoping is not France, as that would leave Les Bleus in a potential group of death and facing quite a pickle to get out of the group.

Story continues below…

The worst case scenario for Deschamps and his men would be to end up with Brazil, from pot 1, Mexico from pot 3 and then old foes Italy from pot 4.

However if France remain in pot 4, they could end up with a dream group, alongside Switzerland (pot 1), Ecuador (pot 2) and Australia (pot 3), whom they hammered 6 -0 in a friendly earlier this year.

France will be hoping their 1998 World Cup hero Zinedine Zidane, who will be one of the dignitaries carrying out the draw, will bring them a bit of luck.

The Local will be tweeting news of the draw as it happens from 5pm on Friday. Follow us by clicking on the Twitter link below. We will also publish news of France’s group as soon as it has been drawn.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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