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Deschamps backs Benzema to end drought

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Deschamps backs Benzema to end drought

France coach Didier Deschamps hopes Karim Benzema can end his barren spell in front of goal for his country with a crucial World Cup qualifying double-header looming.

Georgia arrive in Paris this week for Friday\’s Group I encounter before reigning European and world champions Spain head to the French capital to face Les Bleus in a game that will likely decide which of the pair qualifies automatically for the Brazil finals and which faces a precarious two-legged play-off.

Benzema, 25, will spearhead France\’s bid to make a decisive step towards South America, but with the Real Madrid forward having failed to score at international level since prior to Euro 2012 – a run of 839 minutes – and having slipped behind Gonzalo Higuain at club level, Deschamps was sympathetic to his star attacker\’s plight.

\”He\’s not quite as good as he was at a certain time. He still has this duel with Higuain, which is not easy to handle. I know his quality. He needs confidence. France needs Karim Benzema in top form,\” the former France captain told L\’Equipe.

\”Like any striker that isn\’t scoring, people are incessantly reminding him of the last time he scored. He\’s just lacking that goal which will spark everything off for him. Then you\’ll talk less about his goalless streak. I know that, he knows that. I\’ve spoken to him about it. You can feel it in his play. There are certain things he does which are less natural, though the quality is there.\”

Benzema did come close to ending his drought with a magnificent free-kick which struck the woodwork, ricocheting into the path of Mathieu Valbuena to score in February\’s defeat to Germany.

Deschamps surprisingly left Benzema on the Stade de France pitch right through to the final whistle against Joachim Low\’s men, and the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 winner declared he hoped it would help his striker – who has not put in a 90-minute shift for Madrid since before Christmas – rediscover his feel for the game and lose some post-Christmas bulk.

\”He\’s taken himself in hand. He\’s not the only one. There are three or four who need to be careful,\” he said. \”Their body is their worktool. I\’ve been a player, and it\’s difficult when you play less. Especially when your team plays twice a week. You train less. In a 90-minute match, you burn calories. And above all, you\’re up to speed. That\’s also one of the reasons why I let him play the full 90 minutes against Germany. He needed to find his rhythm. Is he going to have it now? We\’ll see.\”

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World Cup

Peru vs Brazil Prediction & Betting Tip

Peru vs Brazil Prediction & Betting Tip   0

Peru vs Brazil predictions for Tuesday’s late night World Cup qualifier. Brazil hope to extend their lead at the top of their World Cup qualifying group. Peru vs Brazil When: 16th [...]