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Sports

Uruguay a tough challenge for France in World Cup last eight match

media French trainer Didier Deschamps with Les Bleus in Nizhny Novgorod FRANCK FIFE / AFP

France thrilled against Argentina. Can they keep up the form against another batch of Latin Americans?

France had belied their billing as potential champions.

But following a 4-3 victory over Argentina in Kazan to advance to Friday’s last eight clash with Uruguay, they are again the exciting team with potential.

Kylian Mbappé helped resuscitate hope with a two-goal burst that propelled France into a 4-2 lead over Lionel Messi’s team.

In France’s final Group C game against Denmark, Didier Deschamps’ men were lambasted for their dreariness. The match finished 0-0 and hailed as the dullest of all the World Cup encounters.

Uruguay's assets

But, while the Argentina defence appeared to offer up swaths of tract to the speedy Paris Saint-Germain striker, Uruguay’s back line is unlikely to be as accommodating in Nizhny Novgorod.

Marshalled by the Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin, it was not breached during the group stage victories over Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

"Uruguay have so many assets, so many qualities," said France coach Didier Deschamps ahead of the tie. "They defend as a unit, they play together and they love to do that."

Cavani's calf

Uruguay coach, Oscar Tabarez, will make a late decision on whether Edinson Cavani will play after he suffered a calf injury during the match against Portugal in which he scored twice. Cavani returned to training on Thursday.

Tabarez added: “He is a very important player for us, who is in good form. He will play if he can.

“France is a strong side but we hope to be able to pass this test and continue this adventure.”

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