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France out to strengthen grip on top spot

Published: Wednesday 7 September 2011, 10.00CET
France could book their place in the finals of UEFA EURO 2012 with a home win over Albania should Bosnia and Herzegovina slip up in their home fixture against Luxembourg.
France out to strengthen grip on top spot
Karim Benzema scored for France when the two sides met in September ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

FranceAlbania

Goals scored15
 
7
Total attempts140
 
72
Attempts on target64
 
32
Attempts off target60
 
34
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork2
 
1
Corners68
 
41
Offsides36
 
30
Yellow cards13
 
25
Red Cards0
4
Fouls committed119
 
113
Fouls suffered107
 
118
 
Published: Wednesday 7 September 2011, 10.00CET

France out to strengthen grip on top spot

France could book their place in the finals of UEFA EURO 2012 with a home win over Albania should Bosnia and Herzegovina slip up in their home fixture against Luxembourg.

France could potentially confirm their place in the finals of UEFA EURO 2012 with a game to spare with a win against Group D rivals Albania, although it would take an unlikely result in Zenica for that to happen.

• Victory for Laurent Blanc's side, combined with a defeat for second-ranked Bosnia and Herzegovina in their home game against bottom team Luxembourg, would secure first place for Les Bleus. Without that combination of results, it will go down to the top two's meeting at the Stade de France on 11 October.

• France beat Albania 2-1 in Tirana on 2 September, goals from Karim Benzema (11) and Yann M'Vila (18) putting the visitors in front before Erjon Bogdani's strike at the beginning of the second half set up a tense finale.

• France's record in three games against Albania is W3 D0 L0 (W1 D0 L0 at home). Albania have yet to win an away game in Group D.

• The countries' earlier encounters came in qualifying for the 1992 UEFA European Championship. Basile Boli scored the only goal as France won 1-0 in Tirana on 17 November 1990, with the return fixture in Paris ending 5-0 – Franck Sauzée and Jean-Pierre Papin scored twice each in the first half, with Hysen Zmijani's own goal nine minutes from the end completing the rout.

• Current France coach Blanc featured from start to finish in both of those fixtures.

• Albania's Croatian coach, Josip Kuže, led NK Dinamo Zagreb in a 1989/90 UEFA Cup defeat against AJ Auxerre. His side won 1-0 in France but lost the return leg 3-1 in Croatia.

• The outcome was the same when he led Dinamo into a second meeting with Auxerre in the 2006/07 competition, going down 2-1 at home and 3-1 away.

Last updated: 26/09/11 18.37CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1515494.html#les+bleus+welcome+albania

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