France battles Albania for Euro qualifier

France battles Albania for Euro qualifier

Published Sep. 1, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

France expects a tough match with Albania in its 2012 European Championship qualifying group.

Team spokesman Philippe Tournon tells The Associated Press on Thursday that France coach Laurent Blanc ''has warned the players to be ready for a tough, combative match.''

He added, ''We've come for a win,'' but said they feared the ''Mediterranean temperament of the Albanian fans.''

France, which plays Albania on Friday, is top of Group D with 13 points from six games.


Blanc is still unclear if Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, who has a right-knee problem, will be fit for the match.

Albania, undefeated at home in the last two years, has eight points from six matches.