Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate is reportedly set to be named in France’s 2022 FIFA World Cup opener against Australia on Tuesday (22nd November).The latest edition of the FIFA World Cup kicked off in Qatar on Saturday (20th November). Ecuador earned a 2-0 victory over the hosts at the Al Bayt Stadium in the curtain raiser.
Fans will now turn their attention towards the upcoming matches in which some of the tournament favorites will take to the field. France are among those who are preparing for their opener.The defending champions will lock horns with Australia in their first group-stage match of the competition. They will be hopeful of getting their FIFA World Cup campaign off to a winning start on Tuesday.However, Les Bleus have had a few injury problems in their camp in recent days. Christopher Nkunku and Karim Benzema have been forced to pull out of the squad, while Raphael Varane has been struggling with his fitness.Varane, who has been sidelined with a thigh injury since the end of October, took part in France’s collective training session on Saturday (19th November). He is expected to be available for team selection against Australia.However, Blues manager Didier Deschamps could still opt not to take a risk by starting the Manchester United defender. Liverpool centre-back Konate is thus reportedly in line to be handed a surprise start on Tuesday.
According to RMC Sport, Deschamps has been trying a 4-3-3 formation in training, with Konate and Dayot Upamecano as the centre-back pairing. He could choose to start the former RB Leipzig duo against the Socceroos while Varane regains full fitness.
It would be a huge boost for Konate if Deschamps plays him ahead of the likes of William Saliba and Presnel Kimpembe on Tuesday. It is worth noting that the Liverpool defender has made just two appearances for France so far.
How did Konate fare for Liverpool ahead of the FIFA World Cup
Konate is now playing his second season as a Liverpool player, having joined them from Leipzig for £36 million last year. He made 29 appearances across all competitions during his first season at Anfield.
However, the injuries have restricted the France international to just four appearances this campaign. He missed the start of the season due to a knee injury and has started only one Premier League match so far.Deschamps, though, appears to be confident about Konate’s ability to impress for France at the FIFA World Cup. It remains to be seen if the 23-year-old can help Les Bleus to glory in Qatar.