Group A: France v Mexico preview

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The French and Mexicans have arrived in Polokwane ahead of their World Cup Group A clash at the town's Peter Mokaba stadium on Thursday.

After ruining South Africa's opening party plans, Mexico take on an unsteady France side eager to highlight their growing reputation as World Cup gatecrashers.

France's household names hold no fears for a side who upset champions Italy 2-1 in a warm-up game before holding the hosts to a 1-1 draw in their first Group A match.

The intriguing fixture in northern Polokwane looks a lot tighter than the sides' contrasting pedigrees suggest and France, who looked harmless in their 0-0 draw with Uruguay, can expect a fierce challenge from coach Javier Aguirre's men.

Another key to the match will be whether France's high-profile forwards, who have not scored an international goal since last November, will hit the back of the net at last.

Such are the 1998 champions' worries up front that Domenech might decide to bring back Henry, their most prolific scorer with 51 goals from 122 appearances, in place of Nicolas Anelka at centre forward.

Domenech, who boldly introduced an attacking 4-3-3 system during his side's preparations, is expected to revert to his preferred, more cautious 4-2-3-1 system against Mexico with Jeremy Toulalan and Abou Diaby in front of the defence.

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