[WORLD CUP QUALIFYING] In the next 24 hours, all but one of the final berths at the 2014 World Cup will be decided and that will be a mere formality as Uruguay returns home with a 5-0 advantage over Jordan. No bigger team is in danger of missing out on the World Cup than 1998 champion France, which fell at Ukraine, 2-0, in the first leg of their European playoff on Friday.
The game will be a sellout at the Stade de France, but few French fans believe the Bleus will win. A survey of 23,000 fans by the daily Parisien found that only 16 percent believed France would qualify.
The sports daily L'Equipe called the 2-0 loss to Ukraine the worst performance by the national team ever and said it could take a miracle to recover on Tuesday.
History isn't on France's side. No team has ever overcome a 2-0 deficit in the European World Cup playoffs that will decide four berths on Tuesday.
France has qualified for every tournament it has entered since failing to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States. Needing just one point in its last two games at home, it lost to Israel and to Bulgaria whenEmil Kostadinov scored in stoppage time. Didier Deschamps was on the field then and will be coaching France on Tuesday.
Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of France's epic collapse, and French papers were filled with stories about the game as if to get ready to bury another team.
TUESDAY, November 19
Egypt-Ghana, first leg: 1-6 (BeIN Sport, BeIN Sport en Espanol) 11 am. ET
Algeria-Burkina Faso,first leg:2-3 (BeIN Sport, BeIN Sport en Espanol) 1 pm. ET
Romania-Greece,first leg:1-3 (ESPN3) 2 pm. ET
Croatia-Iceland,first leg:0-0(ESPN3) 2:15 pm. ET
Sweden-Portugal,first leg:0-1(ESPN2, ESPN Deportes), 2:25 pm. ET
France-Ukraine,first leg:0-2 (ESPN3) 3 pm. ET
WEDNESDAY, November 20
New Zealand-Mexico,first leg:1-5(ESPN, Univision), 1 am. ET
Uruguay-Jordan,first leg:5-0 (BeIN Sport, BeIN Sport en Espanol) 6 pm. ET