France have been handed a major boost to their World Cup chances as star players Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane returned to training on Saturday.

Both players had been injury doubts ahead of Les Bleus’ World Cup opener against Australia on Tuesday, with Varane going off injured during Manchester United’s draw with Chelsea in October and Benzema suffering from fitness issues throughout the season so far.

Both players being able to take part in a full training session will have put a smile on the face of manager Didier Deschamps, who is looking to lead France to a second successive World Cup and become the first country to retain the trophy since Brazil in 1962.

France are already without key midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante, both of whom were instrumental in the side that brought home the trophy in 2018.

Also absent from the squad is RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku, who is yet to establish himself in the national side but would likely have played a major role had he not picked up an injury.

Along with Australia, Deschamps’ side will need to see off Tunisia and dark horses Denmark if they are to progress to the knockout phase of the competition.


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