RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — France coach Didier Deschamps has "far too much respect" for Ecuador to talk up his team's chances of another goal-feast in their final group game Wednesday.
France followed up its 3-0 win against Honduras with a 5-2 thrashing of Switzerland last Friday and comfortably tops Group E with six points. It has a massively superior goal difference, meaning that it could even lose and still go through.
The rampant forward line has scored 39 goals stretching back over the past 11 games and the team's flamboyant style has drawn widespread praise.
But Deschamps has been playing down expectations since the Switzerland rout and is in no mood to stop.
"Ecuador has a chance to go through as well, so I'm not going to start predicting how many goals we're going to score, even though we've been doing well in attack," he said. "I have far too much respect for this Ecuador team to think we're going to have an easy game tomorrow. We're taking them very seriously."
A draw is enough to guarantee top spot for France, and would also send Ecuador through to the next round if Switzerland fails to beat Honduras in the other match.
His team may face a sterner test against Ecuador, which has a more dangerous forward line than the Swiss or Honduras. Enner Valencia has three goals — the same tally as France's Karim Benzema — and Antonio Valencia has proved with Manchester United how dangerous he can be down the right flank.
"They've been playing in a 4-4-2 for quite a while now. Antonio Valencia's very quick, (Jefferson) Montero on the left dribbles well and speeds the game up," Deschamps said. "The other Valencia, Enner, plays off the main forward Felipe Caicedo and they combine well each other."
Still, despite talking up Ecuador's ability, Deschamps is confident enough to announce he will make changes.
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