France vs. Finland: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
France looks to gain some momentum in World Cup qualifying action against Finland on Tuesday at Stade de France.
The French (14 points, 4-2-1) currently sit in second place in Europe's Group I, trailing leader Spain by three points. In their last qualifying match, they beat Belarus, 4-2.
Finland (nine points, 2-3-2) has already been eliminated from World Cup consideration, but that won't stop the Finns from giving France a battle. Finland is coming off a 1-0 victory over Georgia in September.
Let's take a look at the Group I clash on Tuesday in France.
When: Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. ET
Where: Stade de France, Saint-Denis La Plaine, France
Watch: TF1, ESPN3 (live stream)
Betting Line (via OddsChecker.com): France (2/9), Draw (6/1), Finland (14/1)
Top Storyline: Will France Build Momentum?
France may still be set for the World Cup playoffs, but if the French are to do some serious damage down the road, they will have to be better on the pitch.
France is currently ranked 25th in the world, disappointing by the side's standards. The draw against world No. 97 Georgia on Sept. 6 couldn't have helped.
It means the French may be tagged with a low seeding and, thus, face stronger opposition moving forward.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris said, via ESPN.com: "(The ranking) could be troublesome for us, but we will have to deal with it. It also shows us how much we still have to achieve."
France isn't likely going to surpass Spain in Group I to grab an automatic qualifying bid for the 2014 World Cup, but manager Didier Deschamps will surely be looking for progress from his players. The side still has a lot of work to do if it expects to compete with some of the world powers.
Prediction: France 2, Finland 1
What will be the outcome on Tuesday?
I just don't see how Finland is going to muster up enough offense to outscore France on Tuesday.
Finland has scored five goals in seven matches thus far. Four of those goals have come from striker Teemu Pukki and midfielder Kasper Hamalainen.
France has also only allowed six goals in seven World Cup qualifying matches. The French are coming off 6-0 shutout of Australia in an international friendly last week.
The French offensive attack could give Finland problems, too. France scored a combined six goals against Belarus and Georgia at home before Spain's 1-0 victory at Stade de France in March. As always, Franck Ribery has been outstanding, notching two goals in the 4-2 win over Belarus.
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