Newcastle United ace Mathieu Debuchy insists the French will not ease up

Newcastle United defender Mathieu Debuchy says France will be going all out in their clash with Ecuador

Jeff Gross/Getty Images Mathieu Debuchy of France in action
Mathieu Debuchy of France in action

Mathieu Debuchy says there will be no let-up from France today - despite them all but having secured a place in the last 16.

The French, who take on Ecuador, have been one of the revelations of the tournament, scoring eight goals in their opening two games.

Although they are all but through to the knockout stage, a win in Rio’s Maracana Stadium would see France clinch first place and avoid a probable meeting with Argentina in the last 16.

However, Newcastle defender Debuchy claims Didier Deschamps’ players will not ease up to ensure they maintain the momentum they have produced in Brazil.

He said: “We need to avoid taking our foot off the gas even if there is not a huge amount at stake.

“We want to win this match and maintain our positive dynamic in order to prepare well for what is to come.”

Debuchy hailed the spirit and unity within the French squad, in stark contrast to the divisions and mutiny which blighted their 2010 campaign in South Africa. On that occasion, France’s players went on strike and returned home a national disgrace after exiting the tournament at the group stage.

However, Deschamps has turned France’s fortunes around and Debuchy added: “Honestly, it is great to play in this side.

“We feel great and I love the attacking football. I might be a defender, but I like it when everyone plays together as a team.”

Action Images / Paul Childs France's Yohan Cabaye warms up before the match against Switzerland
France's Yohan Cabaye warms up before the match against Switzerland

France will be without the suspended Yohan Cabaye, while Mamadou Sakho - who came off in the 5-2 win over Switzerland with a thigh problem - could be replaced by Laurent Koscielny.

Defender Eliaquim Mangala is also on standby after first-choice centre-back Raphael Varane was laid low with a stomach complaint.

Enner Valencia, with three goals already in the tournament, said Ecuador were wary of the threat posed by France’s formidable attack, led by Karim Benzema, who has also hit a treble.

He said: “They’re going to be very difficult opponents.

“We know France’s strengths but we’re going to have to take care if we want to hurt them.

Valencia’s Ecuador team-mate Edison Mendez added: “France have played very well in their two matches so far.

“Collectively they are doing well and they are getting into the box a lot, so it is going to be a totally different game for us.”


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer