World Cup final injury latest including Manchester United’s Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez

December 18, 2022

Man United will be represented at the final as France take on Argentina in a bid to be crowned 2022 World Cup winners..

Raphael Varane is expected to be fit for France as they bid to win the World Cup for the second successive tournament against Argentina on Sunday night.

The Manchester United defender missed training on Friday with ‘flu-like symptoms’ but returned on Saturday for the last training session before the final. L’Equipe reports that Varane trained alongside Ibrahima Konate, Kingsley Coman, Aurelien Tchouameni and Theo Hernandez.

Varane has played a crucial role for France on their route to the final, playing every minute of the knockout stages, and is one of the players who was also a pivotal part of their 2018 triumph.

France have been hugely hit by injuries in the build-up to the tournament as well as throughout, with Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante ruled out in the build-up before Lucas Hernandez and Karim Benzema were ruled out after the squad was named, with the former suffering an injury in the opening match against Australia.

Benzema, meanwhile, suffered an injury while out in Qatar and could have been replaced due to the timing of his injury, but with a chance of the Ballon d’Or winner being fit in time for the final he was kept in. There had been some talk of a return for the Real Madrid striker this week, but that appears to have been ruled out despite a cryptic answer from Didier Deschamps in the build-up.

When asked about the striker’s fitness, Deschamps responded: “I don’t really want to answer that question. Next question. I do apologise.” Following this, Benzema posted to his Instagram page, writing in French that he was ‘not interested’.

His presence, even with his injury, would have been even more valuable following the news that Olivier Giroud is a doubt for the final, with the former Arsenal and Chelsea striker having been brought off at half-time against Morocco. According to L’Equipe, France trained with both Marcus Thuram and Giroud playing as strikers in recent days as they prepare for the prospect of the 36-year-old missing out.

Argentina, meanwhile, have come through the tournament relatively unscathed and despite having noticeable hamstring troubles during his side’s win against Croatia, Lionel Messi is expected to be fit. Lionel Scaloni also welcomes back Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel following suspension. United centre-back Lisandro Martinez has struggled to cement his place in the starting XI, though he is fit and reports suggesting Scaloni could switch to a back-three could see Martinez handed his chance.