Euro 2012 qualifying preview: Albania v France
Laurent Blanc has called on Samir Nasri to reproduce his club form for France in their Euro 2012 qualifier against Albania.
Nasri, 24, was among the standouts for Manchester City in their 5-1 English Premier League victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
The attacking midfielder also impressed during his three seasons with Arsenal, but is yet to fully convince on the international stage.
France top Group D of Euro 2012 qualifying by one point from Belarus and will be on the hunt for more points when they take on Albania in Tirana.
According to Blanc, Nasri can become a major force for France as they continue to recover from a disappointing 2010 World Cup.
“It would be good for some players to become important, just as they are for their club. We need this. It is crucial,” Blanc said.
“I hope (Nasri) will confirm what we saw with Manchester City.”
Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery is another individual Blanc has called on to increase his output for France.
A World Cup winner for his country in 1998, Blanc considers himself obligated to cajole his players when necessary.
“I tell them that because I like them a lot,” Blanc said.
“Our job is to tell them the truth, that is why we say it to them but also to many others.”
The hosts of Friday’s match at the Qemal Stafa, Albania defeated Montenegro 3-2 in their last outing.
Sitting fifth in Group D, five points behind France, Blanc believes Albania are not to be underestimated.
“Some say that Albania is one of those countries who have no team but the gap between the small and big teams has been narrowing,” he said.
“We have to be cautious. On the two (Albania) games that I watched, they have a lot of energy, especially at home, and they give everything.”
Valencia’s Adil Rami misses out due to suspension, while Philippe Mexes and Mamadou Sakho are also suspended for France.