Russia, France set for friendly match as part of World Cup preparations

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St. Petersburg, March 26 (IANS) Russia’s national football team players took part in a training session here on Monday ahead of their friendly match against France.

Russia will host the French on Tuesday at Saint Petersburg Stadium, one of the venues for the 2018 FIFA World Cup being held this summer, reports Efe.

Coming off the back of a dismal 0-3 defeat to Brazil in Moscow on Friday, Russia, the lowest-ranked team participating in the World Cup, will be hoping to give their fans some cause for optimism with an improved showing against France.

Les Bleus will also be hoping for a change in fortunes on Tuesday, following their late defeat at home to Colombia on Friday.

Head coach and 1998 World Cup winner Didier Deschamps was furious with his players for their second half performance, accusing them of lacking “determination”.

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“There are lot of qualities in the group, but that is not enough. Football at the highest level demands much more determination”, Deschamps said.

The South Americans came back from 0-2 down in Paris to stun France, who are ranked ninth in the world and will travel to Russia in June as one of the tournament favourites behind holders Germany and Brazil.

As hosts, Russia were a top seed for Group A, where they will be joined by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay, while France were drawn in Group C, alongside Australia, Peru and Denmark.

–IANS

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