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Mbappe dropped to France bench for Tunisia clash after being pictured with ankle bandage in training

9:03 AM EST 11/30/22
Mbappe-France-World-Cup
Kylian Mbappe has been dropped to the France bench for their clash with Tunisia amid concerns the forward is struggling with an ankle problem.
  • Mbappe starts final group game on bench
  • Reportedly nursing ankle problem
  • Expected to return to first XI in round of 16

WHAT HAPPENED? Mbappe has been named among the substitutes as Les Bleus conclude their World Cup group stage campaign at Education City Stadium on Wednesday. The forward was pictured with strapping around his ankle in a training session on Tuesday and it has been reported that he is dealing with an ongoing injury that is being managed carefully.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mbappe's ankle issue is said to have originated while playing for Paris Saint-Germain, but it hasn't hampered him in Qatar so far, with the forward recording three goals in his first two appearances at the World Cup. Didier Deschamps will be expected to bring the 23-year-old straight back into his lineup when France play their first match of the knockout stages, with his side safely through already.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Mbappe is not the only star name to drop to the bench for the Tunisia encounter, with Hugo Lloris, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann also being granted well-earned breaks. Raphael Varane is one of only two players to retain a place in Deschamps' first XI from the win over Denmark, with Arsenal's William Saliba once again missing out on a start.

IN TWO PHOTOS

WHAT NEXT FOR FRANCE? Les Bleus will finish as Group D winners with a win or draw against Tunisia, and are set to take on whoever finishes in second place in Group C in the last 16, with Argentina currently occupying that spot behind leaders Poland.