France trying to take illness in their stride ahead of crunch match against Argentina

France are trying to be ‘calm and focussed’ in the face of the illness which has hit several Les Blues players on the eve of Sunday’s title clash against Argentina.

“We are trying to manage this situation as well as we can and remain calm and focused. I’ll get some more information today and I’ll think about that tonight, and even tomorrow. We’re looking forward to this important game,” France coach Dider Deschamps told reporters on Saturday during the pre-match press conference.

“I don’t want to go into the details. I know it is a subject that is of interest to you, and I fully understand that, but we are doing our best to take precautions and adapt as necessary,” said

“We are trying to live with it, without going too far and getting too carried away, but doing what is necessary. Of course we would have preferred not to have faced this difficulty but we are facing it as best as we can with our medical staff.”

The France boss when asked how he and his players feel because of the virus in their camp and whether it has disrupted their preparation.

“I am absolutely fine,” says Deschamps.

“As for the players, I left the camp quite early this morning so they were all still asleep. I haven’t had any recent updates.

The 2018 champions France are bidding to become the first team in 60 years and only the third overall to win back-to-back World Cup titles.

Defenders Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konaté were the latest players to miss training after falling ill, and winger Kingsley Coman has been suffering from a fever.

It remains unclear whether they can feature on Sunday, just like midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni and defender Theo Hernández who are carrying injuries.

However, defender Dayot Upamecano and forward Adrien Rabiot are set to return after missing Wednesday’s semi-final win against Morocco with illness.

French captain Hugo Lloris when asked as to what effect the virus scare has had on the team spirit said: “In the past we have already proved that French teams, that have been successful, have always based that success on a strong team spirit.

“We try to draw from that. There has been a very good feeling in the camp since the start of the tournament and there is no reason why that shouldn’t be seen again tomorrow.

“There is always uncertainty about the outcome and we’re going to try and do our best despite the circumstances. I think the adrenaline and excitement that we’ll feel will mean we’re all fit enough to do everything we can to win this last battle.”

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