FIFA World Cup 2022: France to left-back as Lucas Hernandez leaves Qatar with torn ACL

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France comfortable 4-1 win more Australia in their opening match of the group stage on Tuesday was not without suffering. Left-back of the Blues Lucas Hernández left the game just 13 minutes into the Socceroos scoring streak with what was later diagnosed by MRI as a ruptured ACL in his right knee, according to the French Football Federation.

It’s an injury that will not only see his World Cup come to an end, but will also see him sidelined for Bayern Munich for the foreseeable future as the German club prepare for the Champions League knockout stage. champions in February.

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Hernandez was replaced by his younger brother Theo Hernandez, who registered an assist in the game, but only left-back remains in Didier Deschamps’ squad.

To make matters worse for Deschamps, when Karim Benzema went down with an injury that kept him out of this World Cup, he opted not to field a substitute, so he’s down to just 24 members for France’s remaining fixtures. It was a World Cup with an absolute deluge of injuries for France with Presnal Kimpembe and Christopher Nkunku also replaced by the original roster while N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba and others were not fit enough to be selected.

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At this point, someone will have to play out of position at left-back if Hernandez can’t play for Benjamin Pavard and Jules Kounde are the only experienced defenders on the right flank. If France are able to maintain their fluid attack led by Oliver Giroud and Kylian Mbappe during the World Cup, they may not need to defend much. But as we get deeper into the tournament, the yellow cards might start piling up and the lack of defensive depth will be something to watch out for.

Recent history is not on France’s side as four of the last five champions crashed out in the following World Cup group stage. It’s a trend that started in 2002 after the Blues won their first World Cup title in 1998, and it’s a taboo they could essentially destroy this time around in Qatar.

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