France’s senior men’s national team is battling a severe injury crisis as the team head into the international break. Highly-rated players, including forwards, midfielders, and defenders, have been ruled out.
The French national team will be heading into the international break with a depleted team plagued with injuries. Injured players who would have possibly made Deschamp’s lineup have risen to 11 players, with Juventus and former Manchester United Paul Pogba and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema leading the list.
Paul Pogba, who is currently battling a family crisis with his elder brother Mathias Pogba was injured during Juventus preseason. There are speculations he may likely miss the 2022 World Cup. Nevertheless, Deschamps may likely include the midfielder in his World Cup squad despite not making his UEFA Nations League squad due to his ‘special status in the team.
Also on the list is 2022 Champions League, La Liga, and Super Cup winner Karim Benzema. Benzema may turn out to be a loss so significant to bear for Deschamps. The 34-year-old, who has been instrumental in Real Madrid’s double last season, with 44 goals across all competitions, was forced off the pitch in Real Madrid’s 2022/23 opening Champions League win over Celtic. The Merengues secured a 3-0 victory, but Benzema was substituted just 30 minutes into the match after he sustained an injury.
A medical test conducted by the Real Madrid medical team after the game had indicated that Benzema sustained a ‘semitendinosus tendon and a strain to the quadriceps muscle in his right thigh,’ the club statement confirmed.
Benzema missed the game against Real Mallorca and the Madrid derby. Carlo Ancelotti clarified that Benzema will not join the international break and must be allowed to rest if he doesn’t recover fully to join the Madrid derby.
With Ancelotti downplaying the injury, it is still uncertain the number of games the prolific striker will miss, but he has been left out of the French squad for the international break.
Another key player missing from the French squad is Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante. Kante has been battling with a series of injuries and has been ruled out of most of Chelsea’s Premier League matches, including Champions League games. Kante sustained a hamstring strain in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with London rivals Tottenham and has been ruled out for five weeks. However, the highly-rated French midfielder is reportedly ready to return to the pitch after the break as he has been spotted doing individual training with new manager Graham Potter.
Nevertheless, Kante has been ruled out of the French squad for the international break as he is set to return to the pitch after the break.
Other French players that are out of the French squad for the UEFA Nations League clash include Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Luis Digne (Aston Villa), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Kipembe (Paris Saint Germain), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan) and Boubacar Kamara (Aston Villa).
France 2022 UEFA Nations League Squad
Alphonse Areola (West Ham United/ENG), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Mike Maignan (AC Milan/ITA).
Benoit Badiashile (Monaco), Jonathan Clauss (Marseille), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan/ITA), Jules Kounde (Barcelona/ESP), Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid/ESP), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich/GER), William Saliba (Arsenal/ENG), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich/GER), Raphael Varane (Manchester United/ENG).
Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid/ESP), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus/ITA), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid/ESP)
Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona/ESP), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan/ITA), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/ESP, on loan from Barcelona/ESP), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig/GER).
France will trade tackles with Austria on September 22nd before traveling to Copenhagen to take on Denmark three days later. You can watch the matches line on BeinSport and other online streaming platforms.