Deschamps plays down ‘revenge’ talk as France face ‘underestimated’ Denmark

France boss Didier Deschamps looks up at the sky Credit: Alamy
France boss Didier Deschamps looks up at the sky Credit: Alamy

France manager Didier Deschamps hopes his side learnt lessons from surprise Nations League defeats to Denmark ahead of Saturday’s World Cup clash in Doha.

The reigning champions go into the encounter leading the way in Group D after kicking off their title defence with an emphatic 4-1 thrashing of Australia.

Yet Denmark, who began with a goalless draw against Tunisia, are bidding for a hat-trick of wins over Les Bleus, having already beaten them home and away this year.

“They are underestimated as a team,” Deschamps said.

“We are talking about a four-month period where they beat us twice and made life very difficult for us. We will have to make sure that’s not the case (this weekend).

“It is not a question of revenge because we know the Danish players and they know us. They can change system from one match to the other and that can give us different types of difficulties.”

Deschamps will be forced into at least one change to the starting XI which began against Australia as Bayern Munich defender Lucas Hernandez is out of the rest of the tournament with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

His brother Theo Hernandez is expected to replace him, while Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane is fit to start but winger Kingsley Coman (hip) sat out Friday’s training session.

Denmark won 2-1 in Paris in June before defeating the world champions 2-0 in Copenhagen at the end of September.

France captain Hugo Lloris said those setbacks serve as a warning but insisted his team do not need additional incentives as they seek to book a spot in the knockout stages.

“It gives you an idea of the level of this Danish team,” the Tottenham goalkeeper said of the losses.

“It’s a wake-up for us. We don’t need any extra motivation. We are fully aware of the importance.

“We know it will be a decisive game for qualification. Every team is in a good place physically and athletically. We know it will be a big challenge – and we have to be ready.”

Denmark midfielder Thomas Delaney will miss the remainder of the competition with a knee injury sustained in the stalemate with Tunisia.

Coach Kasper Hjulmand admits his side must improve significantly from their underwhelming opener.

“The quality and talent they have in France at the moment is spectacular,” he said.

“I have great respect for them but we also know how strong we are.

“We know if we play our very best we know we have a chance of getting a good result against France.

“To be able to do that we have to take a big step forward from the first match.”

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