Mbappe fit for Croatia after ankle knock, Deschamps confirms

By Ryan Benson 8 September 2020 1
Mbappe fit for Croatia after ankle knock, Deschamps confirms

Kylian Mbappe is fit to play for France in Tuesday's Nations League meeting with Croatia after responding well to a right ankle knock, coach Didier Deschamps has confirmed.

Mbappe was forced off 77 minutes into France's slender 1-0 win over Sweden on Saturday, with the Paris Saint-Germain star suffering a blow to his foot.

The 21-year-old damaged the same ankle in PSG's Coupe de France final triumph over Saint-Etienne on July 24, just about recovering in time for the resumption of the club's Champions League campaign three weeks later.

Although Mbappe said after the unconvincing Sweden victory that he would be fine, Deschamps expressed concern and insisted he would take no risks with the prodigious forward.

But it appears he has recovered quickly and will be in contention for Tuesday's rematch of the 2018 World Cup final.

"It's okay, I've no particular worries," Deschamps told reporters on Monday regarding Mbappe's condition.

"He had a little shock during the game. He will take part in today's session. As he says, with each passing day things are getting better and better. I've no fears for his ankle compared to Saturday.

"The full 23 are available, Kim [Presnel Kimpembe] and Kylian too, they know it, I know it. I am not in the place of the clubs.

"This is an international match and we will do everything to win it, even if in the analysis I take different things into account."

While Mbappe is available, Deschamps may opt against throwing him in from the start due to his condition, meaning Anthony Martial – the PSG striker's replacement on Saturday – could get his first start for Les Bleus since a March 2018 friendly against Russia.

Deschamps recognises his versatility in attack is useful, while captain Hugo Lloris noted the 24-year-old appears more confident having enjoyed a resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United.

"He's capable of playing on the flank too, but in Manchester he's really a number nine," Deschamps said. "He might not have the typical profile of a centre-forward, though he has that versatility there. He has gained consistency and efficiency."

Lloris added: "I don't know how his relationship with Solskjaer is, but I find he is more confident."

France will be hoping to at the very least keep pace with Portugal at the top of Nations League Group A3 when they face Croatia, who were resoundingly beaten 4-1 by Fernando Santos' talented side on Saturday.

Portugal will be hosted by Sweden on Tuesday, with Cristiano Ronaldo potentially back in contention as they go for two wins from as many games.

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