France vs Australia lineups: Confirmed team news, starting XIs, injury latest for World Cup 2022 game today

France vs Australia lineups: Confirmed team news, starting XIs, injury latest for World Cup 2022 game today

Defending champions France have been hit with another huge injury blow with Karim Benzema ruled out of the whole World Cup as they begin their defence against Australia tonight.

Knee and hamstring complaints led to Les Bleus putting the Real Madrid striker on a bespoke recovery plan ahead of Tuesday’s Group D opener.

However, a fresh thigh tear suffered in training on Saturday has sadly ended Benzema’s World Cup hopes, with France confirming that the Ballon d’Or winner would play no part in the tournament.

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Raphael Varane is another undertaking individual work having been called up despite his own injury issue. Didier Deschamps is already without Christopher Nkunku, Presnel Kimpembe, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante for the duration of the World Cup following injuries.

Benzema’s absence leads to a starting berth for Olivier Giroud, supported by the star trio of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele.

Arsenal defender William Saliba was in contention to form a defensive partnership in Varane’s absence, though Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate get the nod at the back with Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez. Adrien Rabiot and Aurelien Tchouameni form the midfield pivot in an attacking side.

For Australia, Hibernian winger Martin Boyle was forced to withdraw from the squad on the eve of the tournament due to a knee injury, replaced by Marco Tilio of Melbourne City.

All eyes will be on Newcastle-bound teenager Garang Kuol to see if the exciting talent can make an impact on the biggest stage ahead of his January move to Tyneside. He starts on the bench here.

France starting XI: Lloris, Pavard, Upamecano, Konate, Lucas Hernandez, Tchouameni, Rabiot, Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe, Giroud

Australia starting XI: Ryan, Atkinson, Souttar, Rowles, Behich, Mooy, McGree, Irvine, Leckie, Duke, Goodwin