Tuesday, July 27, 2021

France Suffer Double Injury Blow Ahead Of Euro 2020 Knockout Round Tie Vs Switzerland

France boss Didier Deschamps is facing a crisis in attack after watching two of his wingers limp out of training on Thursday.

Thomas Lemar and Marcus Thuram appeared to be in serious discomfort during a recovery session following Les Bleus’ 2-2 draw with Portugal the previous day.

Atletico Madrid’s Lemar, 25, needed to be helped off the pitch by staff and had his head in his hands as he hobbled away from the action.

Meanwhile, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Thuram, 23, appeared to hold his groin as he sank to the floor during the session.

Both players have the weekend to recover ahead of the Euro 2020 last-16 clash with Switzerland on Monday.

Should they fail to prove their fitness, however, Deschamps will be left light in attack having already lost Ousmane Dembele.

Barcelona winger Dembele, 24, suffered a knee injury during France’s 1-1 draw with Hungary last Saturday and subsequently left the World Cup-holders’ base.

Deschamps also has concerns in defence after Lucas Digne, 27, pulled up with a complaint in the second half of the draw with European champions Portugal.

The Everton star was only introduced at half-time, leaving midfielder Adrien Rabiot to fill in at left-back for much of the match.

To make matters worse, Deschamps later confirmed Lucas Hernandez, whom Digne replaced, sustained a knee complaint.

Many assumed the half-time substitution was tactical due to the Bayern Munich defender, 25, picking up a yellow card in the first half.

But Deschamps confirmed Hernandez suffered a minor knee issue and added: “The most worrying is Lucas Digne. He has a muscle injury, he felt a pull behind his thigh. It will be very complicated [negotiating the rest of Euro 2020].

Multiple injury blows come after a tepid group stage for France; Les Bleus finished top of Group F but won just won of those games and drew two.

Nonetheless, Deschamps has vowed there will be improvement in the knockout stage as he prepares for a showdown with the Swiss in Bucharest.

“In terms of points, we are first,” said the France boss. “Maybe other teams gave a better impression than the French team but now it is a new competition that starts.

“The first match against Germany [a 1-0 victory] was really important for us and to win this one point against Hungary allowed us even before this match to be qualified.

“But as I said to the players we don’t want to do any calculations because we don’t want to take any risks.

“We have seen everything could change very quickly in this group. Of course we didn’t do everything well all the time and we can improve some things.”

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