Football

Deschamps provides injury update on Man Utd defender Varane as France prepare for World Cup opener

France manager Didier Deschamps has teased that Raphael Varane could be available for their opening World Cup fixture against Australia

  • Varane expected to play against Australia
  • Only centre-back with World Cup experience
  • Konate and Upamecano options too

WHAT HAPPENED? France boss Deschamps has eased concerns about his defensive issues heading into the World Cup by providing a positive update on Varane. After Presnel Kimpembe’s hamstring injury was enough to rule the PSG man out of the French squad altogether, the availability of Varane – who hasn’t played since coming off injured in Manchester United’s 1-1 draw away to Chelsea on the 22nd of October – will be vital for Deschamps.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking in a press conference, Deschamps said: “He is training with the ball and doing well. He still has steps to take in the next few days. He is fine. He is in good spirits.

“We are not going to cut corners. He is supposed to be available for the first game.”

Deschamps has two other options available, too, in the form of Ibrahima Konate and Dayot Upamecano. In regards to the pair, he said: “I already know what I will do against Australia.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: France head into the World Cup as defending champions for the first time since 2002 after winning the tournament in 1998. As far as centre-backs go, Varane is the only one named in this year’s squad with any experience at the World Cup. All of Konate, Upamecano, Jules Kounde, Benoit Badiashile and Axel Disasi will hope to make their bow at the upcoming tournament.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

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WHAT NEXT FOR DESCHAMPS? The France manager must hope Varane recovers in time for his sides’ opener against Australia on the November 22. It’s the third World Cup Deschamps will take charge of and he’ll be hoping for a solid start to the campaign with a win as they look to make it back-to-back World Cup triumphs.

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