France Sweat On Karim Benzema, Raphael Varane Ahead Of World Cup Opener | Football News

Defending champions France are hoping Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane will be fit enough to feature in their opening World Cup match against Australia, with teammate Adrien Rabiot insisting both are “determined to play”. Benzema has been struggling with a thigh problem while Varane is recovering from a leg injury. Both players trained apart from the rest of the France squad during a session open to the media at the home stadium of Qatari champions Al Sadd on Thursday evening.

“Karim and Raphael are doing really well,” Rabiot said on Friday. “They trained apart because that was the protocol that was in place for them.

“They are good and are really keen to play, but I don’t know if they will be involved in the first match.”

Real Madrid striker Benzema, who last month won the Ballon d’Or, played less than half an hour of football in his club’s last six games before the World Cup.

Manchester United centre-back Varane has not played a game since coming off in tears against Chelsea on October 22.

Sponsored by Vuukle

The 34-year-old Benzema’s lack of recent match practice means Olivier Giroud could come into the side when France begin the defence of their trophy against the Australians in Al Wakrah next Tuesday.

“It is clear that it is better when you are playing and putting games together but I think Karim’s case is different,” said Rabiot.

“It is less of a handicap for a striker than for a midfielder, and he is a top-level player who knows how to handle himself.

“I think it’s more down to how he is feeling personally. But if he is not there for the first match he will be there for the second.”

France, who are already without key midfield pair Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante in Qatar due to injury, will also play Denmark and Tunisia in Group D.

Juventus midfielder Rabiot is set to profit from the absence of Pogba and Kante and play a central role in Didier Deschamps’ side.

Four years ago he missed out on a place in the victorious 2018 World Cup squad and refused to be included on a standby list.

“Four years have passed since 2018,” said the 27-year-old. “It is true that it was a major disappointment and I have worked really hard to be here this time.

“I am grateful for all that has happened since my return to the team.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Featured Video Of The Day

‘No Selector Removed In Past Just Because Team Didn’t Perform’: Sr. Journalist

Topics mentioned in this article

Stay connected with us on social media platform for instant update click here to join our  Twitter, & Facebook

We are now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TechiUpdate) and stay updated with the latest Technology headlines.

For all the latest Sports News Click Here 

 For the latest news and updates, follow us on Google News

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! TechAzi is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More