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France replace ill duo Upamecano and Rabiot for semi-final against Morocco

SoccerNews in World Cup 14 Dec 2022

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France have replaced Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot in their starting XI for Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final against Morocco due to illness.

Reports began to circulate on Tuesday that the two players were suffering with flu, and as such they were deemed unable to line up at Al Bayt Stadium.

Juventus midfielder Rabiot was out of the squad entirely, remaining at the team’s base, but Upamecano took a place among the substitutes.

Rabiot had played in all five of France’s previous matches in the tournament, while Upamecano started all but their final group game, the defeat to Tunisia.

Drafted into their places were Youssouf Fofana and Ibrahima Konate, starting in midfield and centre-back, respectively.

Otherwise, there were no changes to Didier Deschamps’ team from the side that beat England 2-1 in the quarter-finals.

Opponents Morocco also made changes, welcoming back key defensive pair Nayef Aguerd and Noussair Mazraoui following injuries.

But Walid Regragui’s line-up hinted at a change in system as Aguerd replaced midfielder Selim Amallah, rather than fellow centre-back Jawad El Yamiq.

France were looking to become the first reigning champions to reach the final of the World Cup since Brazil in 1998. The last European nation to do so were Italy in 1938.

If Les Bleus were to win, it would take Deschamps to 14 victories as a coach at the World Cup, a record bettered only by Helmut Schon (16).

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