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Dec 6, 2013

Didier Deschamps happy with draw

Didier Deschamps welcomed France's seemingly kind World Cup group-stage draw, but was quick to highlight the importance of taking victory from their opening game.

Brassell: Group E analysis

Les Bleus will kick off their bid for a second global crown against Honduras in Group E in Porto Alegre on June 15, and also face Switzerland and Ecuador.

Happy with the geographical location of his team's matches, Deschamps, 45, emphasised the need for his squad to take three points from the opener to set a positive tone.

"The good thing is that we don't play all our games in the north with the problem of the heat and the humidity," the 1998 World Cup winner, whose team face the Swiss in Salvador de Bahia in their second match before taking on Ecuador in Rio de Janeiro, told TMC.

"We're playing more or less all our games in the same sector, which is good news. The base camp will be reasonably close to all the venues. Switzerland will be the most difficult opponents, of course, as they're seeded. We know less about Ecuador and Honduras."

He added: "Of course it will have an influence on our opponents in our warm-up friendlies. We'll meet at least one South American team. The most important thing will be to win the first game. That will leave us ideally placed. The order of the games will be good as long as we win that first game."

After being paired with Brazil, Italy and Australia in Thursday's rehearsal draw, there was a sigh of relief from the French as they were given what appears to be one of the smoothest routes to the knockout stages.

"Of course we're smiling. It could have been worse, but the matches still have to be played. A World Cup is never easy," Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye warned on TMC. "We don't know Honduras and Ecuador very well, so we have to be careful and not lack respect towards those nations.

"We have to work and prepare ourselves. It wouldn't be bad to avoid playing Argentina in the last 16. But before looking ahead, there are three group games and we're going to need a lot of determination to be able to win them."

Cabaye's club and international teammate Mathieu Debuchy added: "It's within our capabilities. We could have had a more difficult group."

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