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Sep 7, 2010

Blanc admits France face tough test in Bosnia

Laurent Blanc says France cannot leave Bosnia empty-handed but warned that they will find it difficult based on their recent results.

France endured a dismal World Cup on and off the field under Raymond Domenech and, with a number of key players having retired or been suspended from Les Bleus since, former Bordeaux boss Blanc has struggled to get them back on track.

A 2-1 friendly defeat to Norway was followed by a 1-0 loss at home to Belarus in their opening Euro 2012 qualifier, and Blanc knows France now need to fight hard to keep their hopes alive.

"It is vital that we bring something back from Bosnia," he said. "We never said that we wouldn't win in Bosnia, but we must be honest based on the evidence so far, and we had difficulties against Belarus."

He added: "Bosnia are a side that likes to play possession football. We have to defend really well - something we have been having trouble in doing. If Bosnia have more of the ball, we have to defend well and to hit them on the counter attack."

Blanc has lost strikers Loic Remy, Louis Saha and Guillaume Hoarau to injury, but he has at least been boosted by Karim Benzema's return to fitness.

"He (Benzema) brings his individual qualities, his ability to score goals," he said. "He is our leading scorer in the squad, with eight goals in 28 appearances. One can safely say that scoring a lot of goals is not that easy at international level."

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