Sagna anticipates 'crazy' play-off

10 November 2009 01:20
France coach Raymond Domenech is under pressure after a poor group campaign, where Les Bleus lost out on the automatic qualifying spot for South Africa 2010 to Serbia.[LNB]They were particularly poor away from home, winning only two of their five games, but Arsenal full-back Sagna insists anything other than victory is not an option.[LNB]"It's one of the biggest games I've played in because at the end you can go to the World Cup so we have to win it," he told Arsenal TV.[LNB]"I think France have just missed one (World Cup finals) so it would be a big shame to stay here. I don't want to think about it, I just want to play at the World Cup.[LNB]"We have to give more than we did in qualifying and if we do that we'll be fine."[LNB]The Republic have impressed under coach Giovanni Trapattoni, going through the group stage unbeaten and drawing twice with reigning world champions Italy.[LNB]Sagna expects the pace of the game to be like a Premier League match, and he will make sure his team-mates know exactly what is coming.[LNB]"It'll be a very intensive game and we have to be ready," he said. "There'll be a good atmosphere and they have good players but we (who play in the Premier League) know the players so we can talk about them to the other players.[LNB]"It'll be a crazy game. They (the Irish) are crazy about football and I expect them to run all over the pitch to give everything and in the away game as well."[LNB]France will be without playmaker Franck Ribery for the two-legged tie because of a knee injury but Sagna is optimistic they can overcome the blow.[LNB]"He can change the game and he's a very good player," said the 26-year-old. "He's a big loss for us but we have other good players and they'll want to show what they can do."[LNB]Meanwhile, left-back Patrice Evra has been told by Manchester United team-mate John O'Shea to prepare for "hell".[LNB]"O'Shea, he promised me hell at Croke Park," the defender told L'Equipe.[LNB]Evra has called on his team-mates to stand up and be counted and has implored France fans to get behind the team and the coach.[LNB]"We must stop hiding behind Domenech," he continued. "People who whistle are the same. They should not forget that he is a coach who must lead France at the World Cup."[LNB][LNB] France 6/4, Rep Ireland 13/8, Draw 2/1  

Source: Team_Talk