France sweat on Benzema, Varane ahead of World Cup opener

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Defending champions France are hoping Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane will be fit enough to feature in their opening World Cup match against Australia, with teammate Adrien Rabiot insisting both are “determined to play”. Benzema has been struggling with a thigh problem while Varane is recovering from a leg injury. Both players trained apart from the rest of the France squad during a session open to the media at the home stadium of Qatari champions Al Sadd on Thursday evening. “Karim and Raphael are doing really well,” Rabiot said on Friday. “They trained apart because that was the protocol th…

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