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Last Updated: Monday, 10 September 2007, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Scots plot French resistance
By Thomas McGuigan

Gary Caldwell celebrates at the final-whistle
Gary Caldwell gave Scotland victory against France in October
Hampden has witnessed its fair share of dramatic games and Scotland's Euro 2008 victory over France last October has to rate as one of the best.

Walter Smith's side were given next to no chance against the World Cup finalists, who boast some of the most skilful players on the planet.

But Scots passion and guile triumphed over French artistry - and Gary Caldwell's goal secured a memorable win.

While the defeat appeared to suck the life out of the cocky French players, they have since got their breath back and are intent on exacting their revenge.

Alex McLeish has succeeded Smith as Scotland coach but Raymond Domenech, who cut such a lonely figure on the touchline amid the Glasgow pandemonium, remains in charge of the French.

Attention now turns to Paris and Wednesday night's crucial qualifier.

France lead Group B on 19 points after eight games, one ahead of Scotland and two clear of Italy.

Tartan Army foot soldiers will remember the last time Scotland played the French in Paris.

On 27 March, 2002, Berti Vogts was in charge of Scotland for the first time as his side were on the receiving end of a 5-0 mauling.

Goals from Zinedine Zidane, a David Trezeguet brace, and further strikes from Thierry Henry and Steve Marlet left the Scots limping towards the tunnel at full-time.

The Scots are a far different proposition in 2007, but the home side are still smarting from their Hampden defeat.

Thierry Henry
Henry will miss the Scotland game after his booking against Italy

Henry, who was strangely subdued last October, has swapped Arsenal for the sunnier climes of Barcelona.

But a booking in the goalless draw with Italy in the San Siro means he misses the game through suspension.

Trezeguet and Nicolas Anelka will be charged with breaching Scotland's defence.

Domenech has raised concerns about the standard of the pitch.

South Africa played Samoa in the Rugby World Cup at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

The French coach said a poor playing surface would force his side into playing high balls against the Scots.

McLeish's side will be up for the battle.

The former Rangers, Hibs and Motherwell manager has continued to build from the foundations laid by Smith, and fashioned an obdurate side which is difficult to beat.

McLeish said it would be madness to play the same 4-4-2 formation which yielded victory against Lithuania when they enter the lion's den in Paris.

The Scots will opt for a 4-5-1 formation, with captain Barry Ferguson back from his ban to bolster the midfield.

The question is whether Scotland can complete a magnifique double over their much-fancied opponents.

Only time and another nerve-shredding 90 minutes in Paris will tell.



SEE ALSO
McLeish hopes France lose nerve
11 Sep 07 |  Internationals
Teale sickness blow for Scotland
11 Sep 07 |  Internationals
Frey braced for Scotland battle
09 Sep 07 |  Internationals
SFA chief slams Mikoliunas 'dive'
10 Sep 07 |  Internationals
Scotland 3-1 Lithuania
08 Sep 07 |  Internationals
McLeish hails impact from bench
08 Sep 07 |  Internationals
Caldwell puts France to sword
08 Oct 06 |  Internationals
Smith revels in greatest triumph
07 Oct 06 |  Internationals
Scotland 1-0 France
07 Oct 06 |  Internationals
Fans hail 'magnificent' victory
07 Oct 06 |  Internationals
Pick your Scotland XI
10 Nov 05 |  Internationals


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