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One team could potentially take a big step towards World Cup qualification as Spain and France meet in Madrid
Spain and France meet in Madrid in a match that won't ultimately decide who wins Group I, but it will potentially give one side the leg up in the group.
Spain's unprecedented success over the past five years has set the bar so high that you'd inevitably expect them to trip up at some point. Yet, Spain keeps moving forward and getting results. Maintaining that level of success provides its own form of challenge, but La Furia Roja continues to rise.
Vicente del Bosque is hoping to have Sergio Ramos back after the defender was forced to leave Friday's win over Belarus with a muscle injury. Spain is already without Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol, so Ramos' health will be a closely watched story in the lead-up to kickoff. Should Ramos be unable to go, Raúl Albiol seems the likely choice to start alongside Sergio Busquets.
France will provide Spain their toughest test thus far in the qualifying process for the next World Cup. It's also Didier Deschamps' biggest test since taking over France in the wake of this summer's Euro 2012. His sides 1-0 loss against Japan last Friday in a friendly will hardly inspire confidence, especially with most of his first choice players in the lineup.
Sergio Ramos did not train on Sunday after picking up a muscle injury against Belarus. The only new injury for France is to Clement Chantome who injured his groin in France's loss to Japan on Friday. Chantome did not travel to Spain with the team and was not replaced on the squad.
Match Date/Time: 10 p.m. local, 3 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain
TV: ESPN2 (U.S. - English), ESPN Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), Sportsnet World (Canada)
Online: ESPN3 (U.S.)