France vs Morocco team news: how many France players could miss the semi-final due to illness?
France boss Didier Deschamps may have to make at least two enforced changes to his starting line-up for the Qatar 2022 World Cup semi-final against Morocco on Wednesday (kickoff at 2pm ET / 10am PT). L’Équipe have reported that central defender Dayot Upamecano was unable to train on Monday and Tuesday because of a sore throat, with midfielder Adrien Rabiot also missing Tuesday’s session because of a cold. The feeling within the French camp is that both players have become ill due to the constant air conditioning in Qatar. As things stand, no other players appear to have been struck down.
Neither Upamecano nor Rabiot was guaranteed a starting role in the French team coming into the tournament but have started four of Les Bleus’ five matches so far, with both dropping down to the bench when Deschamps rested almost a full team for the final group match against Tunisia.
Should Upamecano fail to be available, Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konaté is the most likely replacement to play alongside Raphaël Varane in central defender. If Rabiot misses out, Monaco’s Youssouf Fofana has been named by L’Équipe as a possible starter, ahead of Real Madrid man Eduardo Camavinga.
Deschamps has had a raft of injury issues to deal both before and during the tournament, with first-choice trio Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté all unavailable, along with Presnel Kimpembe, Christopher Nkunku, Mike Maignan. Defender Lucas Hernández suffered a serious injury in France’s opening game against Australia and was ruled out for the remainder of the World Cup.
Which Morocco players could miss the semi-final against France?
Morocco don’t have their injury issues to seek for semi-final either. Their main concerns are in defence, which is a pity for them given that it has been the bedrock of their success. Nayef Aguerd didn’t feature in the quarter-final win against Portugal and looks set to be joined on the sidelines for the game against the French by fellow central defender and captain Romain Saïss, who aggravated a hamstring injury in the last game and was forced off in the second half. On top of that, left-back Noussair Mazraoui, who didn’t play against the Portuguese either, is a doubt once more, which means manager Walid Regrargui could be without three of his first-choice back four.
Attacker Walid Cheddira is suspended after receiving a red card in the closing stages of the quarter-final.
When is the 2022 World Cup final?
The winner of Wednesday’s semi-final will face Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final on Sunday, 18 December (kick-off at 10am ET / 8am PT).