France will be aiming to defend their World Cup crown on Sunday when they face off against Argentina at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar.
Les Blues had the worst possible preparation for the tournament with several high-profile names including N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Christopher Nkunku and Karim Benzema being ruled out with injuries.
Despite this, Didier Deschamps’ side were fancied to go deep into the World Cup and they now have the opportunity to become only the second nation after Brazil to defend their title. The Selecao achieved the defeat in 1962.
United’s Raphael Varane has had a big part to play in Les Bleus’ run. The centre-back was initially doubtful for the World Cup with a hamstring injury, but he managed to prove his fitness in time to make the 25-man squad.
Varane sat out the 4-1 win over Australia in the group stage opener, but he has since been ever-present for his side. The Frenchman has been tidy at the back with 90 per cent passes completed while losing possession on less than five occasions per game.
He now has the chance of achieving the rare feat of winning back-to-back World Cup titles but will have his work cut out against Argentina. Keeping Lionel Messi at bay will be one of France’s main challenges in their quest to become World Champions again.
Talking about La Albiceleste, United star Lisandro Martinez could be crucial for them. The 24-year-old has been in-and-out of the line-up but we expect him to make the starting XI on Sunday with manager Lionel Scaloni bound to play with three at the back.
Scaloni will want more defensive assurance against Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and co. There are not many better than Martinez in world football at the moment when it comes to winning ground duels. He has won 75 per cent of his ground challenges in Qatar.
Whatever the result on Sunday, United will have a 2022 World Cup champion in their squad.
Stats from SofaScore.com
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