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Uruguay vs. France: Who will win their World Cup face off?

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Frank Fife/AP

(Read caption) France's national soccer team players gather on the field at Green Point stadium in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, before their first 2010 World Cup match against Uruguay beginning at 8:30 pm (2:30 pm EST).

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France shouldn’t even be in the World Cup. Just ask any Irishman.

The team edged out Ireland for a spot in at the South Africa World Cup thanks to a blatant handball penalty by France's golden boy striker. Thierry Henry tapped the ball to a teammate, who was then able to score and win France's last qualifying game in November.

Despite advancing to the World Cup in that most scandalous of ways, the 2006 runners-up and 1998 champions will again be formidable – and they are favored to beat Uruguay in their first Group A match.

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True, France failed to impress during the qualifying rounds. True, coach Raymond Domenech has largely failed thus far to inspire or unite bickering players. True, the team of veterans has lost a bit of the explosiveness it once had.

But the talent assembled on Les Bleues is enough to many any top coach salivate. France is a team so deep that one of the world’s highest-paid players, Mr. Henry, is not even in the starting lineup. One has to think that a team with such proven performers as striker Nicolas Anelka, midfielder Franck Ribery, and defender William Gallas has what it takes to defeat the scrappy Uruguay.

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