Uruguay vs France - Uruguay still sweating on the fitness of striker Edinson Cavani

Posted Friday, July 06, 2018 by PA

Uruguay vs France - Uruguay still sweating on the fitness of striker Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani remains a major doubt for Uruguay’s World Cup quarter-final with France after coach Oscar Tabarez refused to provide an update on the striker’s injury.

Cavani scored both goals in Uruguay’s 2-1 last-16 win over Portugal before being helped off the pitch by Cristiano Ronaldo after picking up a calf problem.

The Paris St Germain player trained separately from his team-mates on Thursday ahead of Friday’s last-eight clash with Les Bleus in Nizhny Novgorod.

Tabarez believes the media have been given sufficient information about Cavani’s condition and is unhappy about constant speculation and the perceived agendas of some journalists.

“We issued a press release explaining exactly what kind of exams he had to go through and nobody respected it. People started asking other professionals, people who are not here and don’t know what is going on,” said Tabarez at his pre-match press conference.

“I’m not going to say anything else about Cavani because I have already given enough information and I don’t want to get into games that are convenient for certain journalists who have a style I don’t share.

“In less than 24 hours you will know who will play and who will be on the bench.

“I’m not going to change my mind. We don’t want to create any doubts or rumours.

“I apologise, I am not telling you that information. I cannot give you all of my information as I do not get all the information from the French team.”

Tabarez is aiming to lead Uruguay to the semi-finals of the tournament for the second time following their fourth-placed finish in South Africa in 2010.

France, world champions in 1998, are also unbeaten following their first four games and will provide a stern test.

A semi-final against Brazil or Belgium awaits the winner, and Tabarez believes his underdogs can cause an upset.

“We are playing against very strong opponents. French football is very strong in general but this team specifically is really, really strong,” he said.

“It’s not going to be easy and we’re not conceited at all but we don’t think it’s impossible; it’s difficult but not impossible.

“We’ll see what happens. There is a chance and that’s what we are going to focus on, that’s what we believe.”

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris believes Paul Pogba is a “true leader” whose ability will be recognised at this World Cup.

Manchester United midfielder Pogba has been one of Les Bleus’ brightest performers with Didier Deschamps deploying the 25-year-old along with more defensive-minded midfielders N’Golo Kante and Blaise Matuidi.

And he has produced the type of commanding all-action performances United fans can claim to have only fleetingly seen over the past two seasons.

French fans have also yearned for consistency, though, with Pogba poor in the Euro 2016 final when the hosts lost to Portugal in extra-time.

Tottenham keeper Lloris believes his international colleague is developing with more experience and has backed him to deliver in this tournament’s latter stages.

“I think he’s maturing, he’s growing,” Lloris told a pre-match press conference.

“He’s accumulating experience, be it with Manchester United, Juventus – now he’s lining up more seasons, more caps. He’s starting to grow in the locker room also and that is a good thing because he’s a true leader.

“He’s a very ambitious player. We all know he’s extremely talented and he has a lot to offer the team and his team-mates. I think that these big competitions are also good to reveal the talent of players and I’m sure it’s going to be the case for Paul.”

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