World Cup: Key France players hit by illness ahead of semi-final


Less than 24 hours before the World Cup semifinal match, defending champions France are worried about the health of their two key players.

The Sun reports that defender Dayot Upamecano and midfielder Adrien Rabiot are suffering from illness and could potentially miss out on the all-important knockout match. 

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The duo missed out on the team training on Tuesday with Rabiot being under the weather and Upamecano nursing a sore throat. 

In case the duo misses out, Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate and Monaco midfielder Youssouf Fofana are expected to step up and assume the responsibilities. 

Konate has experience playing high-stakes knockout games. The Merseyside player was involved in the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid earlier this year.

Despite the Liverpool loss, Konate was appreciated by fans and critics alike for keeping Vinicius Jr. quiet. 

The other options for France manager Didier Deschamps include William Saliba, Matteo Guendouzi, Eduardo Camavinga and Jordan Veretout. 

Even before the beginning of the tournament, the French squad was hit by an injury crisis. Several big-ticket players such as N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Christopher Nkunku and Karim Benzema. 

Both Nkunku and Benzema got injured days before the World Cup was scheduled to begin. During the first match, Lucas Hernandez suffered a freak ACL injury, further adding to the chaos.

However, courtesy of the incredible depth of the squad, Deschamps did not have difficulty in fielding a squad that is one step away from defending its crown. 

France have not managed to keep a clean sheet throughout the tournament. They will be up against a side that does not create a lot but can be incredibly incisive when it matters. 

Les Bleus will be hoping to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to retain the World Cup trophy. 

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