The France coach, Didier Deschamps, has promised Yohan Cabaye will be fit for Friday’s game against Switzerland and expressed the hope the match can live up to the previous two in Salvador, both high-scoring and eventful encounters.

“Yohan is totally fit, recovered, no problem,” Deschamps said. “I know which players I am going to pick but I do not always tell them until the last day. The two games in Salvador so far have been great World Cup shows and I hope it will be the same when we play. I’d like to think it will be another high-scoring game for the public, but you can never promise that.”

Much to Swiss amusement, France find themselves official underdogs to their neighbours, with Switzerland enjoying a much higher world ranking – sixth to France’s 17th – and enjoying the status of seeds in the group. In reality France are probably favourites now they have hit a run of form after qualifying via the play-offs, though Deschamps is taking no chances.

“We are on an equal footing,” he said. “They are the seeded team, it will be a tough match. They have many good players with some of the best clubs in Europe. Both teams have three points from the first round of games, both teams have quality, it will be a high level match. It might be our toughest, our most challenging game, for a while.”

Deschamps would not give away any clues to his team, nor would he elaborate on Olivier Giroud’s position after the Arsenal forward said he was disappointed not to have started against Honduras. “Olivier is part of a group that won the first match and is getting ready for the second,” he said.

The Switzerland coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld, paid tribute to Deschamps for helping the France team to discover itself again, noting the “explosion” of performance and confidence in their last few matches. “France have made progress under an excellent coach,” Hitzfeld said. “They are all team players again now, and that’s what makes them dangerous. This game is a derby if you like, we know each other very well and we respect each other, but I am fully aware that France are the favourites. To prevail we will have to go beyond our normal limits.”

The Swiss may not have gained three points from their opening game against Ecuador but for a 93rd-minute winner scored by a substitute, a dramatic climax that led Hitzfeld to invoke comparisons with Manchester United. He is probably aware that a few things have changed at Old Trafford since his great pal Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down, but nevertheless insisted his side deserved their breakthrough for keeping going in a manner that would have won the Scot’s approval. “We went for the win, and that showed our bravery,” he said. “To score so late was a reward for taking a risk. We were exposed at the back, we could have seen a goal scored against us, but we went for the win.”

Asked for his opinion of Spain’s early exit, Hitzfeld said the World Cup would be poorer without the defending champions. “I would have like to see then reach the last four at least,” the German said. “I have the greatest admiration for Vicente del Bosque, and on their way to world domination Spain have played some marvellous football. It would be better if they were still around. Seeing them go home is not good for the World Cup.”