Spanish fear attacking art of Djorkaeff

France v Spain Elland Road Tonight, 6.0pm
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The Independent Online
Spain and France, tipped by many to reach at least the last four, could unleash their attacking skills when they meet in Group B at Elland Road tonight - a repeat of the 1984 final.

The Spanish need to win having drawn their opening game with Bulgaria, who subsequently beat Romania. France should simply be more relaxed than they were in beating Romania 1-0 last weekend.

"It's in the second matches that teams' strengths are liberated," France's coach, Aime Jacquet, said. "In their first game Spain played under great pressure and did not reach their true level. Against France we can expect to see a different Spain."

Spain's central defender, Miguel Angel Nadal, who sits out the match completing a two-match suspension, made his team-mates' intentions clear. "We're going for the three points. We can't speculate with a draw, then a win against Romania, we must win," he said.

The Spanish are wary of the threat of striker Youri Djorkaeff. The Atletico Madrid midfielder Jose Luis Caminero said: "They are a well scructured team, quite solid at the back. They have a similar playing style to Spain and they have a man like Djorkaeff with more inspiration and talent."

The last time Spain met France was in the 1984 final won 2-0 by Michel Platini's French side in Paris. Both sides are unbeaten in about two years - France in 24 matches since Jacquet took charge after their failure to reach the 1994 World Cup finals. Spain have gone 17 games unbeaten since falling to Italy in the World Cup quarter-finals in Boston.

Neither coach will name his side until just before kick-off, but France will probably be unchanged, but Javier Clemente has hinted he will make four changes to the Spanish side. Having lost the striker Juan Antonio Pizzi through suspension, Alfonso, the substitute who equalised against Bulgaria, looks set to lead the attack.

The Deportivo La Coruna midfielder Donato, the Real Madrid forward Jose Amavisca and the Valencia defender Jorge Otero also look likely to play.

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