Del Bosque wary of talented France
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has highlighted the threat posed by France ahead of the teams' crucial World Cup qualifying clash.
Spain are at home to Finland on Friday, while France host Georgia, before the two heavyweights meet in Paris next Tuesday, in a match likely to prove decisive in determining the outcome of Group I.
Their previous encounter ended in a 1-1 draw in Madrid last October, when Olivier Giroud's 94th-minute equaliser earned France an invaluable point at Estadio Vicente Calderon.
With that frustrating result in mind, Del Bosque feels the world and European champions must be at their best to earn all three points at the Stade de France.
"(France coach) Didier Deschamps has very good players," Del Bosque said.
"These are players who are as good as ours, as they showed during the second period of the first leg of Spain-France.
"I can even say that at some point they were better than us.
"We made mistakes because at no time did we control the game. Defensively, we had not been successful.
"We can say that the draw with France was the deserved (result) even if we had the opportunity to lead 2-0. It is regrettable that (Cesc) Fabregas missed his penalty.
Del Bosque made no secret of the fact his gifted team will attempt to dominate possession in their neighbours' capital, and the former Real Madrid coach expects France to do everything they can to disrupt that approach.
"We are the first to have confidence in our players but we keep a huge respect for the France team and our opponents," he said.
"I fear this tie. I have great respect for the French and now the difference between the two teams is not as important.
"There are great players in the France team - as good as ours - and it is obvious that the French team at the Stade de France will have the motivation to play against us, and will be at the top of their game.
"I don't know how this game will unfold. Our aim is to take the initiative in the game, having possession of the ball and not let ourselves be dominated by France. It will be very complicated and we are aware of that.
"But we will still have three matches after this one. I don't forget that we have tough rivals such as Belarus, Finland and Georgia."