France manager Didier Deschamps is sweating over the fitness of Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano ahead of their World Cup semi-final against Morocco.
Les Bleus are looking to become just the third country in men’s World Cup history to lift the trophy in back-to-back tournaments, and are into the last four after seeing off Gareth Southgate’s England 2-1 in a tense quarter-final.
Kylian Mbappe has been the standout player for France at this year’s tournament, topping the scoring charts with five goals, but there’s been a number of standout performers in Deschamps’ squad.
Among those to have impressed are Rabiot, who has filled the void left by injured midfield duo N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba at this World Cup, and Upamecano, who has started all but one game in the centre of defence.
But according to L’Equipe, both players are struggling with illness and may not be available to face surprise semi-finalists Morocco.
A number of players at the tournament have picked up colds because of the air conditioning used everywhere in Qatar, and Rabiot and Upamecano were both absent from training on Tuesday having already sat out Monday’s session.
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Fortunately for Deschamps their illness doesn’t appear to have spread throughout the camp, and he does have quality reinforcements who could come into the side.
Centre-back is a particularly strong area, as either Ibrahima Konate or William Saliba could step in to the potential void left by Upamecano in order to partner Raphael Varane.
Rabiot’s absence may be felt a little more given he’s formed a strong midfield partnership with Real Madrid’s Aurelien Tchouameni, but Eduardo Camavinga is waiting in the wings if needed.