Tag Archives: clash

Millwall violence at Wembley: three arrested in dawn raids

Millwall fans arrested in dawn raids after violence at Wembley FA Cup semi-final

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

06:36 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:13 GMT, 23 April 2013

Police have arrested three men in dawn raids in connection with violence at an FA Cup semi-final between Millwall and Wigan.

The men, aged 21, 22 and 27, were arrested at addresses in London by officers from Operation Arrowtip, which targets football-related crime, Scotland Yard said.

So far 23 people have been arrested in relation to violence at the semi-final at London's Wembley Stadium on April 13, during which Millwall fans attacked police and fought among themselves inside and outside the ground.

Scroll down for video

Something to hide Police make an arrest during an early morning raid after violence at Wembley

Something to hide Police make an arrest during an early morning raid after violence at Wembley

Flashpoint: Police clash with fans during the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley

Flashpoint: Police clash with fans during the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley

A further 17 pictures have been released of people at the match who police want to speak to.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Barnes said: 'Large-scale violence and disorder at football matches is completely unacceptable. People attending matches expect to be able to do so in a safe and friendly environment.

'We have had an excellent response from the public, who have identified people in nine of the 10 images already released. Some have since handed themselves in to police, and to date, we have arrested 23 people. Three have been charged.

Dawn raids produce more arrests over FA Cup semi-final violence

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Wanted: These are the 17 football fans suspected of being involved in disorder at the FA Cup semi-final

Wanted: These are the 17 football fans suspected of being involved in disorder at the FA Cup semi-final

Wanted: These are the 17 football fans suspected of being involved in disorder at the FA Cup semi-final

Hunt: Police are still searching for more people in connection with the violence during the FA Cup semi-final

Hunt: Police are still searching for more people in connection with the violence during the FA Cup semi-final

Hunt: Police are still searching for more people in connection with the violence during the FA Cup semi final

'The investigation team is working through many more calls and CCTV to identify all those involved in the disorder. We expect to make further arrests.

'Our message is clear. Violence at football is unacceptable. If you were involved in the violence come forward and speak with us. We will pursue all those responsible.'

Anyone with information about the violence or who recognises the people in the pictures is urged to call police on 020 8246 0076 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

John Terry snubs David Bernstein as Chelsea hand back the Champions League Trophy to UEFA

Champions of Europe, we know what we were: Chelsea boys feeling blue as they hand back trophy… and axed England captain Terry snubs handshake from FA chief Bernstein

amidst racism allegations made against him after a clash with QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in October 2011.

The 32-year-old defender later retired from international football in September 2012 after being charged by the FA for the incident after he had been found not guilty of racist abuse in court.

Snub: The moment Chelsea captain John Terry (second left) sensationally snubbed FA Chairman David Bernstein (second right) by refusing to shake his hand

Snub: The moment Chelsea captain John Terry (second left) sensationally snubbed FA Chairman David Bernstein (second right) by refusing to shake his hand

Walking away: After Bernstein talks with Branislav Ivanovic and Petr Cech Terry walks away to avoid having to speak with him

Walking away: After Bernstein talks with Branislav Ivanovic and Petr Cech Terry walks away to avoid having to speak with him

Snub: Chelsea captain John Terry (right), pictured with UEFA President Michel Platini, sensationally snubbed FA Chairman David Bernstein (below, right) by refusing to shake his hand

Snub: Chelsea captain John Terry (right), pictured with UEFA President Michel Platini, sensationally snubbed FA Chairman David Bernstein (below, right) by refusing to shake his hand

Didn't notice: FA Chairman David Bernstein (right) said he wasn't aware he had been snubbed

Didn't notice: FA Chairman David Bernstein (right) claimed he wasn't aware he had been snubbed

Charles Sale predicted trouble

In his Sports Agenda column, Charles Sale revealed that Terry and Bernstein were set to share the stage together. Click here for the story.

bernstein has been speaking to Terry's Chelsea team-mates Branislav Ivanovic and Petr Cech, but when it was his turn, Terry took a step away to avoid speaking to the FA chairman.

Asked about the incident, Bernstein told Sky Sports News: I didn't notice anything, my relationships with everyone in here are really fantastic so I didn't notice a thing. I

'think we should talk about more positive things than that sort of nonsense'

When asked about his relationship
with Terry, Bernstein – who leaves his post as FA chairman in July –
added: 'A little distant.'

He seemed cool on making any attempt to kiss and make up with the Chelsea captain.

'I'm not really terribly concerned,' he add. 'I have other things to think about. In my last three months, I have other priorities.'

Terry was joined by team-mates Frank
Lampard, Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic as Chelsea handed back
the trophy they famously won last May.

We'll have that back: Eleven months to the day after their famous night in Munich, Chelsea have returned the Champions League trophy to UEFA

We'll have that back: Eleven months to the day after their famous night in Munich, Chelsea have returned the Champions League trophy to UEFA

Terry is also unhappy with Bernstein's role in his court case last year where he was cleared of a racism offence though later banned for four matches by the FA.

Terry, also speaking to Sky Sports News, said: 'No, listen it's a difficult one for me. Obviously, he was the one who spoke about me in the court case and said things I don't want to talk on air. It's probably a subject that we should maybe just avoid.'

Asked if he shook Bernstein's hand during before the ceremony, Terry replied: 'No.'

Say goodbye: Chelsea players Petr Cech, John Terry, Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic (left to right) with UEFA President Michel Platini (centre)

Say goodbye: Chelsea players Petr Cech, John Terry, Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic (left to right) with UEFA President Michel Platini (centre)

Perfect Moment: Didier Drogba hits the penalty that won Chelsea the Champions League last season

Perfect Moment: Didier Drogba hits the penalty that won Chelsea the Champions League last season

It was the moment that all Chelsea fans have been dreading, but 11 months to the day after Didier Drogba's penalty completed the most famous night in their history, Chelsea finally relinquished their hold on the Champions League trophy.

In an official ceremony in London, members of the Blues' heroic squad, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres, gave the trophy back to UEFA President Michel Platini ahead of the 2013 final that will be played at Wembley on May 25.

Since that night Chelsea have undergone a tumultuous transformation.

Jubilant: Chelsea players celebrate their victory in Munich

Jubilant: Chelsea players celebrate their victory in Munich

Drogba, the talismanic striker who scored the equalising goal in the dying minutes of normal time before scoring the winning penalty, left the club along with Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa, who played prominent roles in the final, and Raul Meireles, who was excellent in the semi-final win over Barcelona in the Nou Camp, as Chelsea looked add youth to an ageing squad.

Of course, Chelsea also got rid of their Champions League winning manager, Roberto Di Matteo, just six months after lifting the trophy in Germany.

What should have been a glorious campaign as Champions League holders became a disaster for the club as they crashed out of the group stages, becoming the first holders to ever exit the competition that early.

Gone but not forgotten: Roberto Di Matteo (centre) was sacked from the Chelsea jobs just six months after lifting the trophy

Gone but not forgotten: Roberto Di Matteo (centre) was sacked from the Chelsea jobs just six months after lifting the trophy

Mr Chelsea: John Terry was banned from the final but that didn't stop his exuberant celebrations

Mr Chelsea: John Terry was banned from the final but that didn't stop his exuberant celebrations

The board's decision to replace Di Matteo with former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez was met with loud opposition from Chelsea fans.

Benitez had appealed to fans to get off his back and support the team, and this seems to have happened in recent weeks, leading to an upturn in league form – Chelsea now sit third in the table with a game in hand over fourth placed Arsenal.

Chelsea travel to Anfield this weekend in what will be an emotional return for the current manager – he spent six years at Liverpool, winning the Champions League trophy in 2005 after one of the best comebacks ever seen against AC Milan in Istanbul.

Preparation: Rafa Benitez (second left) prepares to take a team to former club Liverpool for the first time on Sunday

Preparation: Rafa Benitez (second left) prepares to take a team to former club Liverpool for the first time on Sunday

No bearing: Benitez has said that his ties with Anfield will have no bearing on the match - he will be going for three points

No bearing: Benitez has said that his ties with Anfield will have no bearing on the match – he will be going for three points

But Benitez has insisted that his emotional ties with Liverpool will have no bearing on him going for the three points.

I will try to do the best for my team and that is Chelsea,’ said Benitez. ‘I am a professional and that is what I have to do. I cannot forget the time I spent there and the feeling, the atmosphere, the success, the link with the fans and the city — it is my home — but I will try to win. That is what I have to do.

‘This will be quite emotional but I have to concentrate. It will not be easy when you see so many friends around but I will try to concentrate on the game. The players have to believe I can manage the situation and give them help if they need it. Normally, I am not too emotional but now I’m getting older it happens sometimes.’

PS.

This isn't the first time Terry has been involved in handbags over a handshake, although he's usually on the receiving end of the snub…

Wayne Bridge and John Terry

Anton Ferdinand snubs John Terry

Who could forget Wayne Bridge snubs a handshake from Terry after rumours Terry had had an affair with Bridge's former fiance Vanessa Perroncel (left); and Anton Ferdinand snubs Terry after last year's race storm

Football's other hand-shaking controversies

WAYNE BRIDGE & JOHN TERRY: In January 2010 claims Terry had had an alleged relationship with the former partner of one-time team-mate Wayne Bridge emerged, despite Terry being behind a gagging injunction. He was axed as England captain and Manchester City defender Bridge quit international football saying his position in the team – potentially alongside Terry – was 'untenable and potentially divisive'. The teams met just a few weeks later on February 27 but in the traditional pre-match handshake, Bridge refused Terry's outstretched hand.

QPR & CHELSEA: The teams met at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011, after which Terry was accused of racially abusing Ferdinand. The sides were then drawn to face each other in an FA Cup tie in January 2012 with intense focus on whether the pair would or would not shake hands. The then QPR boss Mark Hughes held a meeting with his players and officials over the handshake. Ultimately, the FA decided to scrap the ritual. The Premier League took the same action in April in the first league game between the two since the original incident after Ferdinand's lawyers advised him not to shake Terry's hand. In September 2012, Ferdinand snubbed both Terry and Ashley Cole, who testified for the former at his trial, as did Park Ji-sung, former team-mate of Rio Ferdinand.

PATRICE EVRA & LUIS SUAREZ: Liverpool striker Suarez was given an eight-match ban after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Evra in October 2011. The Reds were vocal in their defence of the Uruguayan, a move that did little to endear either them or the player to the general public. Suarez's first start after the suspension happened to be at Old Trafford but it was he who refused the hand of Evra. The Red Devils captain offered his hand to the Uruguay international but he bypassed the Frenchman. Evra did not accept that and attempted to grab Suarez's arm to complete the formalities, but the striker shrugged him off. Rio Ferdinand, further down the line, then refused to shake Suarez's hand.

JOHN TERRY & DAVID BERNSTEIN: Terry's simmering resentment showed itself again today as he confirmed he had rejected the FA chairman's attempt to shake hands. Bernstein was the man who stripped Terry of the England captaincy and despite being cleared at Westminster Magistrates' Court of making a racist insult, he was charged by the FA and banned for four matches. Bernstein insisted he was unaware of the Chelsea player's snub while admitting his relationship with Terry was 'a little distant'. He told Sky Sports News: 'I didn't notice a thing and I think we should talk about more positive things than that sort of nonsense. I'm not really terribly concerned.'

Margaret Thatcher passes away: Dave Whelan wants minute"s silence for former Prime Minister

Wigan boss Whelan calls for Wembley silence before Millwall clash to honour former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

17:09 GMT, 9 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:09 GMT, 9 April 2013

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has called for a one-minute silence in honour of Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

The former Prime Minister died yesterday, aged 87 after suffering a stroke.

Whelan, whose Wigan side face Millwall in their FA Cup semi-final clash on Saturday, believes football fans should pay their respects to the deceased prime Minister.

Eyes on the prize: Dave Whelan would like a minute's silence for the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Eyes on the prize: Dave Whelan would like a minute's silence for the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Speaking to the BBC, Whelan said: 'We owe Mrs Thatcher a minute's silence.

'We have to say thank you very much for the service she gave'.

But the Premier League have told Sportsmail there are no plans for a one-minute silence ahead of this weekend fixtures.

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez says Blues" fans offer him support when they meet him

'Rafa, we love you really!' Benitez insists he has plenty of support on the street as Chelsea fans finally offer him backing

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

15:41 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:23 GMT, 8 April 2013

Unpopular Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez believes Blues supporters do love him really — at least they tell him that when they bump into him in the street.

The interim manager at Stamford Bridge has had to endure almost consistent hostility from the club’s faithful, but he says it isn’t the same in the streets.

Benitez told Spanish newspaper Marca: ‘I spend most of my time here at the Cobham training centre and almost never go into London. And I have to say this – people are very civil to me out on the streets. Many Blues fans stop me and tell me to keep on plugging away and not to listen to the critics. I have a lot more day-to-day support than is shown, and people think.’

Favourite Rafa Benitez says that Chelsea fans tell him they like him when they meet in the streets

Favourite Rafa Benitez says that Chelsea fans tell him they like him when they meet in the streets

Out: Benitez may not have met the majority of Chelsea fans who have been calling for his head

Out: Benitez may not have met the majority of Chelsea fans who have been calling for his head

Soldiering on: Chelsea are still in with a chance of winning both the FA Cup and the Europa League

Soldiering on: Chelsea are still in with a chance of winning both the FA Cup and the Europa League

He also believes this Chelsea side — who are enjoying a run of form under the Spanish manager — are in a period of transition.

He
added: ‘We do have a squad which is a bit thin in some areas. People
still think that this is the Chelsea of Drogba, Essien or Lampard at its
finest. But now it is a side in transition, with Hazard, Mata, Oscar,
Marn and Moses. They are young players who have to adapt. We are moving
away from a physical side like the old one to a team which is much more
technical.’

Meanwhile,
Benitez knows Chelsea’s Champions League fate could hinge on the
Barclays Premier League clash with Tottenham but is relaxed about the
twists and turns in the race for the top four.

Respect: Rafa Benitez embracing new Sunderland's boss Paolo Di Canio before the game on Sunday

Respect: Rafa Benitez embracing new Sunderland's boss Paolo Di Canio before the game on Sunday

Evolution: Benitez says the new era of Chelsea revolves around Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar

Evolution: Benitez says the new era of Chelsea revolves around Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar

A win for Arsenal on Saturday saw last season’s Champions League winners Chelsea in fifth ahead of their match with Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland yesterday.

But the Blues returned to third with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge, moving above Tottenham on goal difference after Spurs were held to a draw by sixth-placed Everton.

'We knew that we had to win and especially because they (Tottenham and Arsenal) will continue winning,' Benitez told Chelsea TV.

'The main thing for me is the big picture, so keep calm. We have a good team, if we perform at our level we can win against anyone.

'You have some bad games and good games but it will be the same for them.

'We have to carry on. We have one game in hand on Tottenham so if we can do well, especially against them, maybe it’s a game that can mean six points.'

A date for the Tottenham fixture is still to be determined after Chelsea’s progress to Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City forced the game to be rearranged.

Should Chelsea confirm their place in the Europa League semi-finals by completing an aggregate victory over Rubin Kazan on Thursday, the window of opportunity for the Spurs fixture will be small and it will likely take place in the first week of May.

Tony Bellew v Isaac Chilemba rematch Carl Froch undercard May 25

Bellew to get second shot at Chilemba as rematch is arranged for Froch undercard

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

13:38 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:14 GMT, 8 April 2013

Tony Bellew's rematch with Isaac Chilemba will be held on May 25 at the O2 Arena on the undercard of Carl Froch's world title unification fight with Mikkel Kessler.

The Liverpool light heavyweight was devastated when the original meeting was scored a draw last month.

The winner of the second bout will earn a shot at the winner of WBC champion Chad Dawson's clash with Adonis Stevenson on June 8.

Gutted: Tony Bellew felt he deserved to win his first fight with Isaac Chilemba

Gutted: Tony Bellew felt he deserved to win his first fight with Isaac Chilemba

Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed both men were keen to have the rematch as soon as possible.

'There was no winner, so we need to find one,' he said.

'Many people thought Tony won, some thought Chilemba won. It's a fight both need to get off their back.'

Draw: Bellew took his foot off the gas after the opening rounds

Draw: Bellew took his foot off the gas after the opening rounds

The winner of the rematch will likely challenge for the world title in September.

Meanwhile, George Groves' opponent for the same night, along with further details of the undercard, will be announced this week.

Hillsborough anniversary: Liverpool and West Ham observe minute"s silence at Anfield

Solemn silence at Anfield as Liverpool mark the 24th anniversary of Hillsborough tragedy

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

10:50 GMT, 7 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:13 GMT, 7 April 2013

Liverpool paid an emotional tribute to the 96 fans who were tragically killed during the Hillsborough disaster ahead of their game with West Ham today.

The fixture is the Reds last home game before the 24th anniversary of the 1989 tragedy and there was a minute's silence impeccably observed by all supporters in attendance before kick-off.

Tribute: The Liverpool players line-up arm-in-arm for the minute's silence

Tribute: The Liverpool players line-up arm-in-arm for the minute's silence

Fans don't forget: Supporters with T-shirts in memory of the 96 who lost their lives

Fans don't forget: Supporters with T-shirts in memory of the 96 who lost their lives

Honour: West Ham's Liverpudlian captain Kevin Nolan paid tribute to the Hillsborough disaster victims

Honour: West Ham's Liverpudlian captain Kevin Nolan paid tribute to the Hillsborough disaster victims

The occasion was poignant to Liverpool-born West Ham captain Kevin Nolan.

Speaking before the game, Nolan said he believed it would be a chance to commemorate the success of the inquest into the disaster last year.

'We will honour the memory of the 96 innocent supporters that lost their lives,' he said.

'I have friends who were there that day, so it's going to be an emotional day because they have got the justice they deserved.

'We can commemorate it and the people who have worked so tirelessly to ensure justice was brought.'

Tribute: Anfield will hold a minute's silence before the clash between Liverpool and West Ham

Tribute: Anfield will hold a minute's silence before the clash between Liverpool and West Ham

Mario Gotze urinates in Malaga"s stadium

Dortmund star Gotze caught on camera urinating in Malaga's stadium

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

09:08 GMT, 4 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:47 GMT, 4 April 2013

Dortmund's Mario Gotze was spotted urinating on the ground in Malaga's stadium ahead of their Champions League clash.

During training on Tuesday he went behind some advertising hoardings to grab a stray ball, and took the opportunity to duck down and take a secret leak.

Scroll down for video

Peek-a-boo: Mario Gotze takes a leak and halfway through turns his head and sees the camera (below)

Peek-a-boo: Mario Gotze takes a leak and halfway through turns his head and sees the camera (below)

Gotze notices the camera

Except
it didn't turn out to be all that secret as he was caught on camera –
and this footage has since been broadcast by Canal+ and Spanish TV.

During the act, Gotze peeks round and spots the camera filming him, but finishes up anyway.

He then grabs the ball and gets back to the training session.

VIDEO: Cheeky Gotze takes a leak in Malaga's stadium

Mario Gotze was spotted urinating on the ground in Malaga's…

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Alan Pardew trains Newcastle players at Stadium of Light

Hang on a minute! What is Newcastle boss Pardew doing at the Stadium of Light

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

19:27 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:27 GMT, 3 April 2013

I thought Paolo Di Canio was the new Sunderland manager! So why was it Newcastle boss Alan Pardew who was on the pitch at the Stadium of Light this afternoon

So too were his Newcastle players as they prepared for their Europa League quarter-final clash against Portuguese giants Benfica tomorrow night.

But fear not, Sunderland fans. It wasn't the Wearside Stadium of Light, but Benfica's fortress, named – in Portuguese, of course – the Estadio da Luz.

Preparations: Newcastle manager was on the pitch at Benfica's Estadio da Luz this afternoon

Preparations: Newcastle manager was on the pitch at Benfica's Estadio da Luz this afternoon

Pardew and Co are hoping to set themselves on course to a semi-final berth to add some gloss to an otherwise hapless season.

Despite being 15th in the Premier
League and by no means safe from relegation, Pardew says his side will
not let up in the European competition.

Pardew has even tapped up Celtic counterpart Neil Lennon for advice on how to get past the Portuguese side.

Speaking in Lisbon, Pardew said: 'We
have good contacts regarding this team. I know this city quite well and I
have some contacts here who know Benfica well.

'There is also Neil Lennon who we have been in contact with. I think it is important to get as much information as you can – as I'm sure Benfica have done with us.'

James Perch (L) Jonas Gutierrez (R) and Mike Williamson

Yohan Cabaye and Gael Bigirimana (R)

Game for a laugh: Yohan Cabaye and Gael Bigirimana (far right) share a joke, so too does James Perch (left)

Big ask: Mike Williamson is gearing up to keep the stars of Benfica at bay tomorrow night

Big ask: Mike Williamson is gearing up to keep the stars of Benfica at bay tomorrow night

Rafa Benitez urges Chelsea to catch Manchester City ahead of Southampton visit

Get City! Benitez urges Chelsea to reel in champions for second spot and forget about Tottenham and Arsenal

PUBLISHED:

13:00 GMT, 28 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:50 GMT, 28 March 2013

Rafa Benitez insists Chelsea won't be looking over their shoulders and instead believes Manchester City can be caught in the final games of the season.

The Blues are four points adrift of City ahead of their trip to Southampton on Saturday.

Southampton meanwhile are engrossed in their survival battle. four points above the drop, with just nine games of the season remaining.

Strike: Fernando Torres and Demba Ba train ahead of Chelsea's Easter Saturday clash against Southampton

Strike: Fernando Torres and Demba Ba train ahead of Chelsea's Easter Saturday clash against Southampton

'I would like to see us reduce the
gap,' said Benitez. 'They (City) will be concerned like we are with
Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton.

'The
main things are that you are a team. We are playing very good football,
so if you keep the momentum going I won't be worried about the other
teams but watching Manchester City.'

The Chelsea manager confirmed that captain John Terry would be available for selection this weekend.

Case for the defence: John Terry, seen here with David Luiz, has impressed manager Rafa Benitez

Case for the defence: John Terry, seen here with David Luiz, has impressed manager Rafa Benitez

'He has been training and doing well.
I am very pleased with him,' Benitez added. 'He is training every day
and improving his fitness.

'But we’ve got nine games in four days, he can’t play every game. That goes for all the players.'

Fernando Torres was among the Chelsea players left behind in international week after he missed out on selection to the Spain squad for their qualifiers against Finland and France.

'He has been training harder,' said Benitez. 'Spain has a lot of good players so it’s normal he can be left out of the list.

'He has been working very hard. Not just Fernando, but all the players want to prove themselves. Strikers want to score goals, but for me it is also what he does for the team.'

More follows…

France v Spain preview – Giants prepare to meet in crunch clash in bid to reach World Cup

Le Crunch: All eyes on Paris as France host stuttering Spain in World Cup clash that could send champions tumbling towards play-offs

quarter-final in Donetsk” class=”blkBorder” />

Killer blow: Xabi Alonso opens the scoring for Spain against France in the Euro 2012 quarter-final in Donetsk

All-time Record

Played 32
Spain wins 11
France wins 14
Drawn 7

Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane could win his second cap by virtue of his more intricate knowledge of the Spanish forwards.

The Spanish – as is their way – will take nothing less than three points to recover the initiative in Group I with three matches remaining.

'The only thing that changes is that a draw with France now isn't enough,' Cesc Fabregas said. 'But the idea was always to go to France aiming for a victory.

'We will be highly motivated and we will have to bring out the best in ourselves.'

Draw is not enough: Cesc Fabregas, in action here in the return fixture in Gijon, says Spain will be going all out for the win

Draw is not enough: Cesc Fabregas, in action here in the return fixture in Gijon, says Spain will be going all out for the win

European World Cup qualifying Group I

Turning possession into goals is Spain's priority and the country's all-time leading scorer David Villa, who netted on their last visit to Paris in a 2-0 friendly victory in 2010, was confident of success.

'We were going there for a win anyway and now we do so with a stronger motive,' the Barcelona striker said after the Finland game.

'Our way of playing is always the same. Even if we had beaten Finland we would have played the same in Saint-Denis. We aren't thinking of the playoffs, or anything else beyond getting a win against France on Tuesday.'

When Spain beat Italy to win their third straight major title at last year's European Championship, it was unthinkable they could be absent from the Rio football carnival.

Following a run of 24 consecutive qualifying wins, they have slumped to back-to-back draws with France and Finland, having beaten Georgia and Belarus earlier in the campaign.

For once, Spain appear to be there for the taking, though much will depend on striker Benzema, who has scored just three times in his last 23 outings for France.

Certain sections of the French media have called for him to be dropped as a result, but Deschamps has no such intention.

'I believe in Karim,' he said unequivocally.

Thankfully for Deschamps, other sectors of the French attack are in full flow, with winger Franck Ribery and attacking midfielder Mathieu Valbuena in excellent form – particularly Valbuena, who scored a great goal against Georgia and created the other two.

'We ask attacking players to be decisive, and Valbuena is just that,' Deschamps said. 'He's full of confidence and it shows.'

Jubilation: Mathieu Valbuena and Franck Ribery celebrate after the former scores against Georgia

Jubilation: Mathieu Valbuena and Franck Ribery celebrate after the former scores against Georgia

Dropped points: Cazorla and teammates at the end of Spain's 1-1 draw with Finland on Friday evening

Dropped points: Cazorla and teammates at the end of Spain's 1-1 draw with Finland on Friday evening

Deschamps has high praise for Giroud, too, but suggested he could be more useful using his aerial threat against a tiring defence.

'He has that ability, and that's a weapon I can obviously use at any time,' Deschamps said.

Spain's Santi Cazorla knows all about Giroud, playing alongside him for Arsenal, and considers him to be an equal threat to Benzema.

'They are very different. Olivier has killer instincts, a penalty box player,' Cazorla said. 'Karim is a playmaker, he enters in open play more. They are two great players.'

Probable teams:

France: Hugo Lloris; Christophe Jallet, Mamadou Sakho, Raphael Varane, Patrice Evra; Moussa Sissoko, Blaise Matuidi, Yohan Cabaye, Mathieu Valbuena, Franck Ribery; Karim Benzema

Spain: Victor Valdes; Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Nacho Monreal; Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Andres Iniesta; Cesc Fabregas, David Villa