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Football | France

Benzema, Giroud to lead French vs Uruguay



France coach Didier Deschamps has revealed that Real Madrid marksman Karim Benzema and new Arsenal signing Olivier Giroud will lead the attack in his first game in charge against Uruguay in a friendly to be played on Wednesday.

"I want to use two systems, one with two strikers playing central and another more classical system with one striker up front and an attacking midfielder just behind in the hole," said Deschamps, who captained France to the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

"With two strikers, we will have more offensive presence but the worry with this system is that when you come up against a team who put out five midfielders, we will have more difficulties.

"I don't want to deprive the team of an offensive option even if it demands a lot of hard work to get back into position and keep the balance of the side."

Deschamps, who won a league title and three league cups in three seasons at Marseille before taking the France job, is going against the wisdom of former handler Laurent Blanc who believed a 4-4-2 system could not work against the top international teams and should only be employed against weaker opposition.

The 43-year-old, who also won Champions League trophies at Marseille and Juventus as a player before coaching Monaco to the 2004 final, is set to play former Marseille charge Mathieu Valbuena on the right wing with Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery set to start on the left.

South American champions Uruguay are currently second in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying group with three wins and two draws, one point behind surprise leaders Chile, who have played a game more.

Coach Oscar Tabarez is using the match to prepare for their next qualifier on September 7 when they travel to Barranquilla to take on Colombia.

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