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Tension in French squad?

2022 FIFA World Cup: Tension in France squad ahead of crunch England clash?

December 8, 2022 By Michelle Bonsu
According to reports, there is some tension between Didier Deschamps and one of his players.

On Saturday, France will take on England in the quarter-finals as Les Bleus hope to become the first team since Brazil to successfully defend their World Cup title.

Didier Deschamps's side have been largely a well-oiled machine, save for a surprise 1-0 reversal to Tunisia on matchday three of the group stage. However, the reigning champs had already qualified, and as such Deschamps opted to initially deploy a largely second-string squad with qualification to the round of 16 already secured.

With things going pretty swimmingly, one would assume that everything is calm in the French camp. Yet, reports have indicated that not all is well behind the scenes between the manager and one of his players.

Defender Benjamin Pavard, who plays his club football for Bayern Munich, has apparently irked his manager with his arrogant attitude and as such, is apparently unlikely any further part in the competition.

Pavard was viewed at fault for failing to track his marker which led to France conceding a goal against Australia. Although they roared back to score four goals, Deschamps was left unimpressed, and this is just the latest in a series of flashpoints between player and manager. 

As per another report from France, back in September, Pavard had a sulky and petulant attitude following France's 2-0 win over Austria, during which Jules Kounde was selected instead of him. The 26-year-old lashed out in the media, which offended Deschamps, and now, at the World Cup, things have only gotten worse.

Kounde is expected to feature in the starting XI on Saturday against England, and all in all, it remains to be seen if Pavard will be given any other opportunities to feature for France at this competition.

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