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Discussion Starter #1
I saw France's 5-1 win AWAY to Morocco (whom we lost to at HOME)...I thought their attack was devastating especially when Zidane came on. With Anelka and Henry's pace I'm getting very worried on how our defence is going to cope. We leave so much space at the back...and Frank isn't the fastest. Only hope is that their defence isn't as water tight as before....but we will have to be at our very best. I think France are even stronger than they were 2 years ago.
 
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You coulde be right, despite the result, France looked also very very strong against Japan.
The Netherlands need to be at their very best to get a victory over France, because I have a feeling the Netherlands will NEED a victory over France.
France look in excellent shape, and are likely to defeat both Denmark and Czech, with Holland I'm not so sure.
It's obvious now with France having such a devastating attack that they are even better than 2 years ago, but despite the loss of Van Nistelrooij, I have a feeling Holland have become even better since WC 98 too.
Both Holland's and France's squads still have many players from 2 years ago, so team spirit is high in both teams.
 
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How can we stop the French? I think the heart beat of the French team is Zidane...without him they are only half the team it proved against Morocco when the chances start flowing after he came on. I think to beat the French we must take Zidane out of the game. I think either Davids or Winter should be employed as a man marker on him. Only then we can cut the supply to Henry or Anelka...or maybe both. If I were Lamerre I'd put both of them but I think the French will be afraid of Holland too. I would be even more worried if we were away from home but we are at home, so we should have far more of the ball. I agree there is a doubt that Holland will win the first 2 games. Seriously, we MUST win the group to maintain our home advantage and also to avoid Spain in the quarterfinals. So we MUST win the first 2 games and we can have a draw with France in the last game. Having said that, I'm sure France won't want Spain either.
 

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Davids man-to-man against Zidane and Cocu on the left midfield. That'll be the trick. Don't forget we lost from Marocco with a 2nd choice team. All our Barça-players played a friendly against Brazil (2-2). Stam and Bergkamp were injured and Davids was away because of an eye-surgery.
 
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I know we were understrength against Morocco...but France started the game against the africans without Zidane, Petit, Lizarazu, Thuram and Deschamps. But you can argue that it was only after Zidane came on that France really ripped them apart...before that Morocco were unlucky to be behind and should have scored on a few occasions.
I think Holland's strength above France is that we are not dependent on any single player...of course players like Davids are important but we have matchwinners all over the field and even on the bench...our creativity doesn't lie only in one player...which is the case with France. Petit, Deschamps, Vieira and Djorkaeff are good players but they are not particularly creative...only Zidane is. Davids, Cocu, RDe Boer, Bergkamp, Kluivert and even Seedorf can produce a spark of genius or a brilliant pass at any given time to win a game.
 
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