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Spain vs. France: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info, Preview for FIFA U-20 Match

SIENA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 13:  Mattia De Sciglio of Italy and Gerard Deulofeu of Spain in action during the Under 21 international friendly match between Italy U21 and Spain U21 at Artemio Franchi - Mps Arena Stadium on November 13, 2012 in Siena, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2013

The third round of group stage play of the 2013 Under-20 World Cup kicks off on Thursday as Spain take on France.

They're two of the biggest national team sides in the world with quite differing fortunes over the last couple of seasons.

Spain have conquered all of football as they're the two-time reigning European champions and reigning World Cup champion.

France have made news for their drama off the pitch, as they have slowly spiraled downward. They do have a lot of talent coming through the pipeline, though, so it's only a matter of time before the national team gets its stuff together.

It comes as no surprise that Spain have another stable of young players who are destined to feature for the senior team, as well as the biggest clubs in the world.

Here's a preview for this massive U-20 World Cup match.

 

When: Thursday, June 27, at 1 p.m. ET

Where: Turk Telekom Arena, Istanbul, Turkey

Watch: Replay at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU

Live Stream: ESPN3

 

What's at Stake

Spain will finish top of the group with a win or a draw. With victories in their first two group matches, La Roja are first in the table on six points. The only question now is where they finish in Group A. They'll want to get the maximum number of points in order to set up as easy a round of 16 match as possible.

France are pretty much in the knockout stage as well. They're second in the group, on four points. A draw will see them finish second in the group for sure, while a win would mean jumping ahead of Spain. A loss doesn't necessarily mean France drop down to third. That depends on the result of the United States-Ghana match.

 

Spain Player to Watch: Gerard Deulofeu

Gerard Deulofeu has been one of the players of the tournament so far. Coming in, the 19-year-old winger had built himself a nice reputation at Barcelona with their B team.

Fans have probably been hearing his name for the last season or two but haven't seen him in action. If they watched Spain's two matches, they will have seen what the big deal is about.

Deulofeu is a true product of La Masia. He's tremendous on the ball and very creative in the attack. At almost any other club, Deulofeu would have first-team football every week. Instead, he's on the reserve side at Barcelona. But it's only a matter of time before he's starring for the senior team.

 

France Player to Watch: Yaya Sanogo

If France get on the scoresheet, Yaya Sanogo will likely have played a role in the goal. The 20-year-old has scored two goals in the tournament

Sanogo had a very good season for Auxerre in Ligue 1, scoring 10 goals in 13 matches. In the past, he's had a hard time with injuries, and his career has been affected as a result. Still, there's no denying the talent Sanogo possesses.

He's got to make up for what was a rather average performance against the United States. He scored the only goal, but it came on what shouldn't have been a penalty in the first place. France will have a very hard time finding any goals if Sanogo doesn't improve

 

Prediction

The absence of Paul Pogba will be huge for France. He's a very good midfielder and could have helped to disrupt the Spanish attack. Since he picked up a yellow card against the United States, he'll be out for this one.

France still have Geoffrey Kondogbia, who, having played at Sevilla, will have experience playing against some of the Spain players.

Unfortunately for the French, they won't have enough to handle Spain. La Roja will control possession and slowly distance themselves from France.

If France look as lethargic as they did against the United States, they don't stand a chance.

Spain 2, France 0

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