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 Posted by Ian Holyman
Jun 20, 2014

Lilian Thuram backs France for glory

ESPN FC's Craig Burley takes a look at France's chances in Brazil, the importance of Paul Pogba in the midfield, and how the French squad are expected to redeem themselves after a poor showing in South Africa.

World Cup winner Lilian Thuram believes the current France squad are capable of winning this year's tournament.

- Torre: Deschamps leads French renaissance

Thuram, 42, was a teammate of Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps when the nation lifted the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000.

And the former Juventus defender believes Deschamps' past experiences as a player mean France will be a serious threat in Brazil.

"Yes, they can win. There are players of great quality," he told RTL. "There is a coach who knows how to win, who has already won as a player and a coach."

Following their 3-0 win over Honduras, France face Switzerland on Friday in a match that will likely dictate which team tops Group E.

Although it is Deschamps' squad which boasts the bigger names, Ottmar Hitzfeld's side have vowed not to be overawed when they step out onto the pitch, while they have no special plans to deal with in-form striker Karim Benzema.

"There's no anti-Benzema plan. That would mean we would leave space for the others, notably [Antoine] Griezmann and [Mathieu] Valbuena, to play," Switzerland defender Steve von Bergen was quoted as saying by Foot Mercato.

"France have great individuals, Benzema is one of them. He has just won the Champions League. He's a very good striker. We respect everyone, but we fear no-one. Once the game has kicked off, it doesn't really matter who's against you."

Switzerland started their World Cup campaign with a 2-1 defeat of Ecuador.

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