France striker Karim Benzema returned to training on Saturday but had to leave the session injured and is now expected to miss Les Bleus’ World Cup opener against Australia on Tuesday.
What’s more, the 2021 Ballon d’Or could even now be a doubt for the whole tournament.
Benzema has been struggling for fitness all season and was forced to miss all of Real Madrid’s last five games in all competitions prior to the World Cup break.
The 34-year-old returned to training on Saturday alongside former clubmate Raphael Varane, who hadn’t played since October because of an injury suffered while playing for Manchester United.
But RMC reported that Benzema wasn’t able to finish the session. It is not thought to be a recurrence of the same hamstring issue that has been affecting him over the last couple of months and tests will be carried out in the remainder of Saturday evening.
However, it doesn’t appear to be good. RMC states that he has already been ruled out of France’s first game in a matter of days. More worryingly, there are concerns that he could yet be forced out of the World Cup altogether.
Were that to be the case, France could still call up a replacement until Monday, which is the day before they play Australia. After that time, the squad as it stands would be locked in.
Didier Deschamps only named 25 players in his squad for the tournament, opting not to fill the maximum quota of 26 players permitted by FIFA.
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Ben White leaves England World Cup squad due to ‘personal reasons’
Arsenal star Ben White has left England’s World Cup training camp and isn’t expected to return for the remainder of the tournament.
The defender didn’t make an appearance in any of the Three Lions group stage games, and has now left the squad due to ‘personal reasons’.
In a statement released by England, the Three Lions confirmed the news: “Ben White has left England’s training base in Al Wakrah and returned home for personal reasons.
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“The Arsenal defender is not expected to return to the squad for the remainder of the tournament. We ask that the player’s privacy is respected at this moment in time.”
White has enjoyed a fantastic domestic season with Arsenal, becoming the club’s first choice right-back – and one of the best right-backs in the Premier League – as the Gunners have gone from top four challengers to table-toppers.
Poland vs Argentina: Confirmed lineups
France, who have already secured a spot in the last 16 of the World Cup 2022, play Tunisia on Wednesday in their final Group D matchup.
In the meantime, the African nation is last in the standings and must defeat the current champions to advance to the knockout stages.
Poland XI (4-4-1-1): Szczesny; Bereszynski, Glik, Kiwior, Cash; Frankowski, Bielik, Krychowiak, Zielinski; Swiderski; Lewandowski
Argentina XI (4-3-3): Martínez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuña; De Paul, Enzo Fernández, Mac Allister; Messi, Álvarez, Di María
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