France 'without fear' ahead of Germany showdown
France coach Didier Deschamps insisted that his team have no reason to fear Germany as the sides prepare to clash in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday.
"There is no apprehension or fear. There is no reason for us to feel any. Germany are a solid, experienced side but this game will be a pleasure for us," Deschamps told a press conference in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.
The match will be the first competitive meeting of the nations since West Germany beat France 2-0 in the 1986 World Cup semi-finals, four years after they also triumphed on penalties when the teams met at the same stage of the competition in Spain.
Friday's match at the Maracana Stadium in Rio offers France the opportunity to gain revenge, though Deschamps accepts that Germany are the strongest side they have faced yet at these finals.
"We have no pressure on us, just excitement at being able to play a World Cup quarter-final. We will have a new page of our history to write and let's hope it is a beautiful one.
"Germany are one of the favourites to win the competition. They always reach the latter stages.
"They are a solid side with excellent individual talents who impose their game on the opposition," added Deschamps, whose side edged past Nigeria with a 2-0 victory in the last 16 on Monday.
"I have a lot of respect for Nigeria but Germany are a much better side. We have to keep doing what we have done well until now but the demands now will be greater and we need to be capable of dealing with that too."