After a dismal showing at Euro 2008, France will be looking for a clean start to their qualifying campaign for the World Cup as they take on Austria on Saturday. Elsewhere, Andorra host England and European champions Spain travel to Bosnia.
New France captain Thierry Henry is relishing the challenge of facing Austria in Saturday's World Cup qualifier, not least as it will give him the chance to prove he's worthy of the armband.
"It will be a difficult game, I saw (Austria) at the Euros. They lost two matches and drew one, like us," the Barcelona player told AFP on Friday.
"They are difficult to beat. It's a team that hangs on. They are valiant."
In the absence of injured Patrick Vieira, Henry will wear the all-important captain's armband, a job the World Cup winner is keenly looking forward to.
"I will impose myself a little more, I will speak a little more, especially on the field. Before I didn't do that as much," said Henry, who captained the side in the 3-2 friendly win over Sweden last month.
"But there has to be eleven captains and everyone must set an example. I need to speak much more, they need me as much as I need them."
France put in a dismal performance at the Euro 2008 finals in June, crashing out at the first hurdle after scoring only one goal, which was netted by Henry.
The veteran admitted the thought of international retirement had crossed his mind in the past.
"The thought of retiring went through my head in 2004 (France were beaten in the quarter-finals against Greece) but at the time nobody was interested.
"Failure is as difficult to manage as victory."
Date created : 2008-09-06