Mathieu Valbuena insists France has what it takes to pip Spain to first place in Group I as the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers begin on Friday evening (Saturday morning AEST).
Les Bleus kick off their campaign against
As the odd team out in the only group to comprise just five nations,
The Marseille midfielder told L'Equipe: "We're our own worst enemy and if we start slowly, we may suffer a surprise result.
"But if we are focused and determined, we can do better than them.
"We have to take maximum points from our first two matches, but it will not be easy."
Deschamps was previously the explosive 27-year-old's manager at the Stade Velodrome and Valbuena believes the professional continuity will be beneficial to both parties.
"He hasn't changed," he added. "His opinions on life and on the game remain the same.
"He likes to create a winning culture on the pitch.
"That's what he did to win titles with Marseille. He's always the same, that's just the way he is."
Paatelainen's side is currently ranked 96th in the latest FIFA world rankings and has never qualified for a major tournament.
Georgia will play host to
Despite their proximity, the two eastern European nations have never played each other on the world stage.
Former Newcastle United midfielder Temuri Ketsbaia has been in charge of his home nation of Georgia for three years since reviving the fortunes of Cypriot club Anorthosis Famagusta.
Belarus, coached by