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Preview: France v Albania

Didier Deschamps spoke warmly about his return to Marseille's Stade Vélodrome as France seek the victory against Albania that will send them into the round of 16.

Didier Deschamps is pleased to be back in Marseille
Didier Deschamps is pleased to be back in Marseille ©Panoramic
  • Hosts France looking to build on 2-1 opening-night victory against Romania
  • Didier Deschamps won Ligue 1 titles as Marseille player and coach plus 1993 UEFA Champions League
  • Albania played 54 minutes with ten men as they lost 1-0 to Switzerland on Saturday
  • Teams have met twice in last two years, Albania prevailing at home and drawing 1-1 in France
  • France have won ten of their last 11 matches
  • Albania captain Lorik Cana, who spent four years at Marseille, serves one-match ban

Possible line-ups
France: Lloris; Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra; Kanté, Matuidi; Coman, Payet, Martial; Giroud.
Out: none
Doubtful: none

Albania: Berisha; Hysaj, Ajeri, Mavraj, Agolli; Kukeli, Xhaka; Roshi, Abrashi, Lenjani; Sadiku.
Out: Cana (suspended)
Doubtful: Kaçe (knee)

Coach quotes
Didier Deschamps, France
There'll be a great atmosphere, the crowd will be really fired up. This is a proper stadium. The new Vélodrome is synonymous with a proper football atmosphere. It's always great to come back – I was last here in 2014. Back then it was still being renovated, but it's nice to be here and see people who I spent time with as a coach and player.

There was a lot of excitement in 1998, but it grew as the competition wore on. I can't say the surroundings were the same as they are today. There's huge support from the French fans, which is lovely. I don't speak about '98 with the players. I was part of the story, but this is their history to write.

Watch how Albania stunned France in June 2015

Albania are very organised because they have an Italian coach, who has done a great job. They defend well but don't settle on that – they're good at breaking forward quickly. They work hard and it's impressive how much ground they cover. We saw that against Switzerland, where they deserved to equalise at the end.

Gianni De Biasi, Albania
We know France well. They're playing at home and will be driven on. We'll try to limit as much as possible some of their play and try to break when we get the chance. Kingsley Coman has really skyrocketed in terms of his ability. N'Golo Kante has been a surprise – he was incredible in the Premier League. France are one of the best sides in the world.

We played quite well against Switzerland and blew an opportunity to score. For the best part of an hour we held firm against a good side with a better FIFA ranking than us. We have worked on trying to find the right balance and want put into action everything we have done in training.

UEFA.com team reporters
David Crossan, France (@UEFAcomDavidC)
France were poor in their last two meetings with Albania, but I expect a very different Les Bleus performance this time around. Whether Deschamps shuffles his pack or not, France will possess plenty of attacking guile. Dimitri Payet should again be a key figure for the hosts as he returns to the Stade Vélodrome, where he made spectacular progress under Marcelo Bielsa's guidance in 2014/2015.

Fatjon Pandovski, Albania (@UEFAcomTonyP)
Arlind Ajeti is expected to take on Cana role's in central defence, while Ergys Kaçe is doubtful. The midfielder trained alone on Monday with his knee iced up. Cana aside, De Biasi is likely to field the same line-up and deploy the same strategy as against Switzerland, namely long balls in search of the speedy Armando Sadiku, counterattacks and activating the crossing quality of Odise Roshi and Ermir Lenjani.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)

Did you know?
This is France's first competitive match in Marseille since a 3-0 victory against South Africa at the 1998 FIFA World Cup group stage. Find out more in our extensive match background.

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