Anilava Chatterjee, Qatar: Reigning world champions France are dealt with concerns surrounding the availability of key players ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 final against Argentina at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Sunday. Didier Deschamps side have been dealt no fewer than three fresh illness concerns ahead of Sunday’s World Cup final.
Ibrahima Konate , Rafael Varane, Kingsley Coman despite turning up for France training at the Al Saad Sports Club ground on Saturday is not hundred percent fit. All three were affected by a virus and definitely not Covid-19 related symptoms.
French media here in Qatar feel coach Didier Deschamps wants to send a message to Argentina camp that all his players are ready for the final. The entire France team was seen on the training pitch for the first 15 minutes which was opened for the media. Whether the trio of Konate, Varane and Coman will start in the final for Les Bleus, we will have to wait.
It is believed all three of them were victims of a bug apparently brought on by the constant air conditioning, which also claimed Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot before the semi-finals.
“Didier Deschamps is hoping and praying that his players are not attacked by flu ahead of Sunday’s final. According to the France team management if a player is affected by flu the night before the final, he can recover after taking medicines,” said French journalist Xavier.
Konate – who starred against Morocco – is understood to be feeling worse than Varane, who could be fit enough to take his place alongside Upamecano, but William Saliba and Axel Disasi are on standby.
Apart from the virus threat, the France camp is also wary about the big support Lionel Messi and his team will receive at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. But France captain Hugo Lloris is not bothered as long the supporters is behind them.
As far as the France team news is concerned, side-back Theo Hernandez should overcome a knee scare to start on the left, as Jules Kounde continues to marshal the right flank.
Rabiot’s return to fitness will spell the end of Youssouf Fofana’s brief time in the team, as the Juventus man returns alongside Aurelien Tchouameni and Antoine Griezmann, who has created a tournament-high 21 chances for his teammates in Qatar.
Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud are primed to retain their spots in the final third alongside Kylian Mbappe, who sits level with Lionel Messi on five goals in the race for the Golden Boot and could now become the youngest player to net in more than one World Cup final.
Here is the possible line up for France in the final: Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud