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France preparing for Cavani to play in World Cup quarter-finals


Nizhny Novgorod (Russia) (AFP) – France coach Didier Deschamps is preparing his side to face Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday despite doubts over the striker’s fitness.

Deschamps also warned that France should not expect a similar type of match to that against Argentina in the last 16, a free-scoring, exhilarating 4-3 victory.

“I am preparing my team for if Cavani plays,” Deschamps said on Thursday. “If he plays or not, I will only know 90 minutes before the game.”

He said Uruguay had impressive potential replacements including Cristhian Stuani and Cristian Rodriguez and they would not change their style of play.

“They (Uruguay) have so many assets, so many qualities,” added Deschamps. “They defend as a unit, they play together and they love to do that.”

He added that the South Americans were a great counter-attacking team, singling out midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur for helping make the quick transition from defence to attack.

Cavani was Uruguay’s hero in the 2-1 victory over Portugal in the last round, scoring both goals.

But he limped off with a calf injury towards the end of the game and the Paris Saint-Germain star is in a race against time to be fit for Friday’s clash.

Cavani trained alone at Uruguay’s camp in Bor, close to Nizhny Novgorod, on Thursday, and it is still unclear whether he will start or be on the bench against France.

French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris said Cavani and strike partner Luis Suarez were among the “most beautiful attacking partners in football”.

“We are getting ready for anything, whether he (Cavani) plays or not,” said the Tottenham ‘keeper. They are a very difficult team.”

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