France head coach Didier Deschamps said his charges will target a win against Denmark in a 2018 Fifa World Cup Group C encounter Tuesday at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, irrespective of who they face in the last 16.
The winner of Group C will face the runners-up side of Group D, comprising Argentina, Nigeria, Croatia and Iceland.
As things stand, France are favourite to top Group C and will possibly face Argentina in the Round of 16, provided the Albiceleste beat Nigeria and Iceland fail to win against Croatia.
“We are not going to give them (Denmark) a helping hand. Our goal is to guarantee first place,” Deschamps told reporters Monday.
“I would never say to my team that we’re playing for a draw. I want my team to go out onto the pitch without any ambiguity and to do everything to win this match,” he said.
In contrast, Denmark need just a point to join France in the knockout stage, and could even snatch top spot from the Les Blues with a win.
“I’m sure Denmark will also be playing to win,” said Deschamps, who lifted the World Cup as captain in 1998.
France, who are guaranteed a spot in the last 16 following wins over Australia and Peru, are expected to make several changes in the XI.
“I have 23 players, they can all have a role to play and start a match,” added Deschamps. “There are no risks, if they’re here it’s because they’re ready to play.”
Real Madrid star Raphael Varane seems likely to captain the side, after attending the official pre-match press conference in Moscow. Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda is expected to stand between the sticks in place of captain and No 1 choice Hugo Lloris.
“The players read and listen more than me. They know very well what the coach said. That’s not what’s going to fire up the players that are going to start [Tuesday],” said Varane.
France are yet to hit top gear in Russia edging Australia 2-1 before scraping past Peru 1-0. Varane however, said there is much more to come from the Les Blues.
“I think we have progressed, compared to the beginning of the competition,” Varane said. “We have improved, which is great, and we need to carry on.
“In attack I think we can still progress, we can still hurt the opponent more.
“We saw it in different phases during our last game, but we can do better. We have the quality to tear defences apart.”