Warsaw: France are unlikely to feel psychologically inferior to holders Spain when they meet in their Euro 2012 quarter-final on Saturday, having never lost to the world champions in a competitive game.
The French have won five and drawn one of their six competitive meetings with their neighbours, meaning Spain will need a first in Donetsk if they are to stay on track to become the first team to win three successive major international titles.
The unpredictable French impressed in their 2-0 win over Ukraine but coach Laurent Blanc said the team "slacked off" before their 2-0 loss to Sweden and strong words were exchanged in the dressing room after losing the top spot in Group D.
Spain eased into the last eight as Group C winners but were given a few nervous moments by Croatia in their final group game, and Saturday's clash could be a tight affair.
The reward for the winner will be a semi-final against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal at the same venue in Donetsk next Wednesday.