France vs. Georgia: Key Battles to Watch in World Cup Qualifier

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France vs. Georgia: Key Battles to Watch in World Cup Qualifier
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Deschamps has the chance to shuffle his pack before the visit of Spain

France come into Friday's clash with Georgia at the Stade de France locked on seven points with reigning World and European champions Spain in Group I.

A win against the Georgians would give Les Bleus a six-point lead in the current race for second place heading into their clash with the Spaniards in the capital next week.

The Crusaders themselves are in mixed form having beaten Belarus in Tbilisi most recently.

However, defeats in Minsk and then at home to Spain, along with a draw in Finland, have arguably already cost the Georgians a chance of a surprise second spot.

With France coach Didier Deschamps opting to call up a number of promising young talents, the match will be a battle of two teams focusing on youngsters. Deschamps could be tempted to rest some players ahead of the Spain clash though, with a number of potential suspensions on the table.

Meanwhile, under the guidance of eccentric former international Temuri Ketsbaia, Georgia are attempting to move out of the shadow of an illustrious generation of former talent by focusing on youth.

Current stars like Spartak Moscow's Jano Ananidze, Empoli's Levan Mchedlidze and Karpaty Lviv's former Schalke 04 midfielder Levan Kenia are the new hopes of the nation.

They replace former stars Shota Arveladze, Kakhaber Kaladze, Levan Kobiashvili and Alexander Iashvili, nearly all of whom are now retired.

Here are the five key positional battles as I see it on Friday.

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