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Spain seek first France success

France will be looking to extend their unbeaten run against Spain to ten games when the two Group C pacesetters meet in Norrkoping, though their last victory came in 2000.

Bruno Bini faced Spain many times as France youth coach
Bruno Bini faced Spain many times as France youth coach ©UEFA.com

France and Spain will contest leadership of Group C in Norrkoping after both kicked off their campaigns with wins, and the French will be looking to extend their unbeaten run against their rivals to ten games – though their last victory came in 2000.

• Les Bleues recorded the first win at UEFA Women's EURO 2013 when they defeated Russia 3-1, Marie-Laure Delie scoring twice in the first half and Eugénie Le Sommer registering after the break. Spain then edged a dramatic meeting with England 3-2, substitute Alexia Putellas finally putting the game to bed in the third minute of added time after Jennifer Hermoso and Laura Bassett had exchanged late goals.

Head-to-head record
• France have won six of those games, with three draws, and scored 15 goals to Spain's seven. Five of the matches were competitive, France winning three.

• Les Bleues won the first friendly encounter 2-0 in Perpignan on 10 December 1983. It finished 2-2 three months later in Barcelona.

• On 18 February 1987, France beat Spain 1-0 in a friendly in Istres.

• They first met competitively in 1989 European qualifying. France won 3-1 in Palme de Rio on 6 March 1988 and held Spain 0-0 in Castelsarrasin the next month, topping the group but losing to Italy in a two-legged quarter-final.

• The next encounter was the most important, a 1-1 draw in the opening game of the 1997 finals group stage in Karslkoga, Sweden. Sandrine Soubeyrand was in the France side.

• Ignacio Quereda's Spain pipped France to the semi-finals on goal difference before losing 2-1 to Italy on what was their only finals appearance prior to 2013.

• France won the most recent friendly 3-2 in Rennes on 16 May 1998, Soubeyrand getting the decisive goal.

• The most recent meetings were in 2001 qualifying. France won 1-0 at home and 2-1 away to make the finals, with Spain forced into a play-off they lost to Denmark.

• Soubeyrand started both games against Quereda's side; she is the only active player with experience of France-Spain senior matches.

• As two of the dominant women's youth nations, their junior meetings have been frequent, with Bruno Bini and Quereda having several encounters as coaches.

• In the 1998/99 UEFA European Women's Under-18 Championship preliminary round, France drew 2-2 with Spain.

• In the 1999/2000 finals in France, Spain beat the hosts 4-2 in Boulogne. Céline Deville and Laura Georges faced Spain's Elisabeth Ibarra.

• In the third qualifying round the next year, it was 3-3 in Sisteron, Erika Vázquez levelling in the 80th minute. Bini fielded Deville, Ophélie Meilleroux, Georges and Camille Abily.

• The competition had become an U19 event when France beat Spain 2-1 in the finals group stage in 2002 in Sweden. Georges and Meilleroux took on Erika and Priscila Borja.

• In 2003, Bini's team took the title in Germany but lost 3-2 to Spain in the group stage. Adriana scored twice and lined up with Sonia and Borja while France boasted scorer Élise Bussaglia, Sarah Bouhaddi, Meilleroux and Gaëtane Thiney.

• Bini was no longer France coach when Quereda's Spain lost 1-0 to Élodie Thomis' goal in the second qualifying round to reach the 2005 finals. Bouhaddi, Laure Boulleau and Louisa Necib also played.

• Quereda was again frustrated by France 1-0 in the 2007 finals in Iceland, as an opening loss ultimately eliminated Spain, England topping the group. Eugénie Le Sommer and Marie-Laure Delie faced Marta Torrejón, Silvia Meseguer, and Jennifer Hermoso.

• A year later, Quereda oversaw another opening 1-0 finals group defeat by hosts France. Wendie Renard and Le Sommer faced Torrejón and Meseguer.

• France also beat Spain 1-0 in the 2010 finals, by which point Quereda was no longer youth coach. Spain defeated France 1-0 to win their first UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship title in 2011.

Form guide
• France had the only perfect record in qualifying, winning their eight games with 32 goals scored and two conceded. Eleven different players scored.

• They are on a run of 23 straight qualifying group victories going back to a June 2007 loss in Iceland.

• France were the best European performers at the 2012 Olympic tournament, finishing fourth after beating Sweden 2-1 in the quarter-finals then losing 2-1 to Japan in the semis and 1-0 to Canada for bronze.

• Before losing their Olympic opener 4-2 to the United States, France had won 17 games in a row. They reached the FIFA Women's World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 2011, losing to the United States and then being beaten by Sweden for third place.

• When they made the UEFA Women's EURO 2009 quarter-finals, it was the first time France had progressed from any senior group stage.

• On 24 November 2011, Spain came back from two down with goals by Verónica Boquete and Willy to hold Germany 2-2 in Motril. That ended Germany's run of 38 straight Women's EURO, and 36 consecutive qualifying, wins dating back to November 1999.

• María Paz's seven goals in a 13-0 defeat of Kazakhstan in Madrid on 5 April 2012 were the most scored by an individual in a Women's EURO game.

• That result came a few days after a 5-0 loss in Germany and a subsequent 4-3 defeat in Switzerland meant Spain had to settle for a play-off spot.

• They drew the first leg with Scotland 1-1 at Hampden Park, Adriana equalising but missing a penalty, and had to come from behind in the Madrid return to force extra time. There they fell behind on 98 minutes and although Meseguer levelled on the night on 113 minutes Spain remained behind on away goals. When Boquete had a 119th-minute penalty saved it seemed all over, but deep in added time she found the target to clinch the tie.

• Spain are the only one of the 2013 finalists not to have competed in Finland four years ago. Their only previous qualification was in 1997 when they reached the semi-finals. However, their Women's U17s (2010 and 2011) and U19s (2004) have both won European titles and this is the only UEFA national-team competition (including men, women, youth and futsal) Spain have never won.

Team ties
• There has been only one Franco-Spanish encounter in club competition – FCF Juvisy Essonne losing 1-0 to RCD Espanyol in the 2006/07 UEFA Women's Cup first qualifying round in Livingston, Scotland. Juvisy's Bussaglia took on Adriana and Torrejón.

• Spain's Verónica Boquete made her debut for Chicago Red Stars in 2010 in a 0-0 draw in Hayward, California, against an FC Gold Pride side featuring France's Camille Abily.

Spain team news
• Spain have a fully fit squad as they prepare to tackle France, although Irene Paredes and Nagore Calderón will incur a suspension if they pick up another booking.

France team news
• Sandrine Soubeyrand became the oldest ever person to take part in a UEFA Women's EURO finals when she appeared against Russia, playing at the age of 39 years and 330 days (21 days more than Olena Mazurenko for Ukraine v Finland in 2009).

• Having been an injury doubt with a hip problem before the match against Russia, Louisa Necib entered the fray as a substitute after 66 minutes. Amandine Henry remains sidelined with a thigh complaint, in contrast, and is not expected back until the England game on 18 July.