Saturday, 29th November 2014

France coach Deschamps: We have no pressure


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France coach Didier Deschamps has moved to deflect pressure on his team, claiming Germany are favorites ahead of their World Cup quarter-final here on Friday.

At a pre-match press conference at Rio's Maracana Stadium on Thursday, Deschamps said Germany pose the biggest challenge Les Blues have faced this tournament.

"We have no pressure on us, just excitement at being able to play a World Cup quarter-final," Deschamps said. "We will have a new page of our history to write and let's hope it is a beautiful one."

France advanced to the last eight by defeating Nigeria 2-0 in Brasilia while Germany needed extra time to beat Algeria 2-1 in Porto Alegre.

The winner of Friday's clash will earn a semi-final berth against either Brazil or Colombia in Belo Horizonte on July 8.

Despite Germany's unconvincing form since a 4-0 victory over 10- man Portugal in their opening group match, Deschamps expects Joachim Low's team to be at their best.

"Germany are one of the favorites to win the competition," Deschamps said. "They always reach the latter stages. They are a solid side with excellent individual talents who impose their game on the opposition.

"I have a lot of respect for Nigeria but Germany are a much better side. We have to keep doing what we have done well until now but the demands now will be greater and we need to be capable of dealing with that too."

Meanwhile, France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris paid tribute to his German counterpart Manuel Neuer, describing the Bayern Munich player as the best in his position.

"When the team pushes so high up the pitch, you have to be able to play further forward and perform the role of a sweeper," Lloris said ahead of the game at the Maracana Stadium.

"Neuer is certainly the most complete goalkeeper in the world and is capable of doing that role. He did it remarkably against Algeria." RIO DE JANEIRO, July 3 (Xinhua)


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