In a battle of former champions, France face Uruguay in the first quarter-final of Fifa World Cup 2018 at Nizhny Novgorod on Friday, July 6.
Both teams have been impressive en route to the last-eight round. While the La Celesta have won all four of their previous outings, including a 2-1 win that knocked Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal out of the World Cup, Kylian Mbappe double helped Les Blues ended Lionel Messi-led Argentina's run in the Round of 16.
Ahead of the much-anticipated quarter-final tie, both teams are facing issues due to injury and player suspension.
Uruguay were dealt a huge blow when Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani limped off the turf in the 74th minute of their victory over Portugal in Sochi On June 30. He had scored two stunners before suffering a calf injury.
Even as the Uruguayan Football Association confirmed that Cavani had suffered a bruising in his left calf and not torn a muscle, giving hopes to the Celeste fans. However, the 31-year-old has not trained with the team in the last two days and has had troubles even walking normally, according to ESPN.
Luis Suarez talks about Cavani's chances of returning
Cavani's absence is likely to have an impact in Uruguay's performance on Friday but Luis Suarez is hopeful of the team stepping up even if his strike partner fails to recover in time for the all-important World Cup clash.
"What Edinson stands for, in terms of my game and for the team, is essential. He has shown how important he is for La Celeste. I cannot talk about his recovery from injury, but I know that he has the desire, the attitude and is making the effort to do everything to be there -- it does not only depend on him, though," the Barcelona man said.
"We have played without Edinson already, during qualification, and the team adapted to the situation. This is different, though -- this is a World Cup."
In Cavani's absence, coach Oscar Tabarez is likely to play Cristhian Stuani of FC Girona alongside Suarez and stick to the 4-4-2 formation.
Who will replace Matuidi?
On the other hand, France will miss midfielder Blaise Matuidi as he is facing suspension for Friday's tie. Didier Deschamps has plenty of options to replace Juventus midfielder.
While Bayern Munich's Corentin Tolisso, who had come off the bench in their win against Argentina, is in contention to replace Matuidi, France may also be tempted to play Ousmane Dembele, albeit his ordinary performances in Russia.
Friends will turn foes on Friday as the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Lucas Hernandez turn up against their Atletico Madrid teammates in Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez, who have been brilliant at the back for the Celeste. Barcelona stars Samuel Umtiti, Dembele and Suarez also make the duel a must-watch one.
Probable starting line-ups
France: Hugo Lloris; Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez; N'Golo Kante, Paul Pogba; Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Corentin Tolisso; Olivier Giroud
Uruguay: Fernando Muslera; Martin Caceres, Jose Maria Gimenez, Diego Godin, Diego Laxalt; Nahitan Nandez, Lucas Torreira, Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Luis Suarez, Cristhian Stuani