Tchouameni, Upamecano miss training ahead of Morocco clash – Punch Sports Extra
Aurelien Tchouameni and Dayot Upamecano were reportedly both absent from France training ahead of Wednesday’s World Cup 2022 semi-final against Morocco.
The pair have been regulars for Didier Deschamps during the Qatar tournament so far, with Real Madrid midfielder Tchouameni starting all five games for the reigning champions.
The 22-year-old scored a stunning opening goal against England in Saturday’s quarter-final victory, where Upamecano made his fourth start of the World Cup as Raphael Varane’s regular partner.
However, L’Equipe reports that both men were unable to take part in training on Monday, with Tchouameni suffering a knock to the calf in the quarter-final success over England.
Meanwhile, Upamecano is understood to be dealing with a sore throat, although neither man’s issue is expected to be serious enough to keep them out of the semi-final.
Kylian Mbappe, Varane, Theo Hernandez and Ousmane Dembele did not partake in full training with the squad either, but the quartet are simply believed to have been rested after Saturday’s victory.
As a result, Deschamps should have a fully-fit squad available to him for the semi-final, and both Varane and Jules Kounde took part in media duties on Monday afternoon.
Manchester United centre-back Varane was asked about the future of manager Deschamps, who is only under contract with Les Bleus until the end of the calendar year.
Deschamps remained tight-lipped on his future after Saturday’s success over England, and Varane adopted a similar approach when questioned by reporters on Monday.
“With the coach, we know each other better and better. He is always attentive to the smallest details. He knows what he expects of me and I know what I can bring to the group, we are constantly in the exchange,” Varane said.
“It’s a chance for us to have so much stability, to have this benchmark in the selection for so many years. Coach’s extension? We don’t talk about it, we are focused on the next match.”
Meanwhile, Kounde will be coming up against former Sevilla teammate Bono, who has been part of a Morocco defence to have only conceded one goal in the entire tournament so far.
Bono also kept out two penalties in the last-16 win over Spain, and Kounde hailed the Morocco number one as a “complete” goalkeeper, saying: “I am not at all surprised.
“I had the opportunity to see him evolve at a very high level. He is a very complete goalkeeper, very strong on his line, good on foot and very strong on penalties.”
Either Argentina or Croatia will do battle with France or Morocco in the showpiece event, with the other semi-final taking place at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Tuesday.
Originally Posted By Punch Sports Extra