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France duo miss training ahead of World Cup semi-final

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Aurelien Tchouameni and Dayot Upamecano have both sat out France training ahead of their World Cup semi-final against Morocco.


Les Bleus are bidding to win back-to-back World Cups, which is a feat not achieved since Brazil did it 60 years ago.

They overcame a major hurdle in defeating England 2-1 in the last eight, with Tchouameni scoring a brilliant opener. Upamecano was less influential, though, and was fortunate to not give away a first-half penalty.

Both now face a nervous wait to see if they are cleared to play in the semi-finals against surprise package Morocco, although neither player’s absence is understood to be serious.

Tchouameni is suffering from a calf injury sustained against England, while Upamecano is dealing with a minor illness.

Manager Didier Deschamps, meanwhile, says he won’t allow his players to take anything for granted against Morocco. The North African side have knocked out both Spain and Portugal to get this far, and Deschamps does not want France to join that list of World Cup upsets.

“Few people expected to see Morocco in the semi-final, they have surprised everyone and have deserved to be there,” the boss said. “We very much respect our opponents and to get this far they have deserved it. No one can take that away from them.

“Morocco will be very, very difficult to beat. It is fantastic what they have achieved. They have played and beaten some of the best teams in the world. It is a historic achievement.”