Calf injury leaves Cavani major doubt for Urugugay against France

Ross Houston
July 8, 2018

Luis Suarez is confident Uruguay can control the threat of France's teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe when the two countries meet in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday.

"I am with him every day in Madrid", Griezmann told reporters ahead of the clash in Nizhny Novgorod.

Cavani worked out on the pitch of the Borsky sports centre in Nizhny Novgorod and took a short walk, then sprinted, practiced a small slalom with the ball and finally kicked the ball gently.

Former Middlesbrough striker Christian Stuani replaces the prolific forward in the starting XI as Uruguay aim for their second semi-final in the last three editions. "Thanks to the players for again being World Cup protagonists and stirring a nation".

Uruguay also have a reputation as World Cup party-poopers - remember Ghana in 2010 - and history is on their side.

As well as Mbappe, Uruguay will have another tricky French forward, Antoine Griezmann, to contend with.

"They're a tough team, like Atletico Madrid".

Once the emotions settle, Uruguay have some serious work to groom a new generation, given mainstays like captain Diego Godin and strikers Cavani and Suarez are now all in their early 30s.

"I have a contract with the club, I'm calm, football is like that and you never know, but I want to focus on the national team and enjoy this moment".

Friday's quarter-final was the first time France have beaten Uruguay at a World Cup, having lost one and drawn two of their previous encounters.

France's first goal came when Raphael Varane rose highest to meet Griezmann's free-kick with a glancing header.

Uruguay has a "unique" team spirit because their victories mean so much to the players and the country, one of those inside the South American team camp said this week.

"I think we deserve the result", said coach Didier Deschamps, a World Cup victor with France in 1998. "On other occasions, he has rescued us with incredible saves", said Godin. "Apart from that, they didn't have many great opportunities". "Today we played against opponents that were stronger than we were".

Edinson Cavani limped off during the second half of that tie with a calf problem.

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