Spain takes on France in crunch match in World Cup qualifying

Madrid: Spain will face France in a highly-anticipated World Cup football qualifier in the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid Tuesday.

Both European giants have won their first two games in Group 1, and Tuesday`s meeting will help determine which team should be considered the favourite to claim first place and the automatic berth in the tournament in Brazil, reports Xinhua.

Spain is without injured centre backs Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol, while Sergio Ramos is also doubtful.

Little-used Raul Albiol could team up with midfielders Sergio Busquets or Javi Martinez in defence.

Spain, which has won 24 straight qualifiers, beat France 2-0 en route to defending its European title this summer.

The French will have to improve considerably in order to avoid a repeat showing Tuesday, while the Spanish know a win will be a big step on the way to Brazil.


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