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France 'dealt a new injury setback' ahead of Euro 2024 round of 16 match against Belgium!

France faces a crucial clash against Belgium at the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Dusseldorf following their disappointing second-place finish in Group D, where they managed only one win in three matches.


After narrowly defeating Austria 1-0, the 2018 World Cup champions settled for a goalless draw against the Netherlands in the absence of Kylian Mbappe. They were then held to a 1-1 draw by Poland, which saw Austria leapfrog them to top the group. This setback has forced Les Bleus into a more challenging path in the knockout stages, despite Belgium also underperforming at Euro 2024.


France has had a full five days to rest and prepare for their round of 16 encounter with Domenico Tedesco's team. Manager Didier Deschamps faces significant selection dilemmas across all areas of the pitch. However, one player unlikely to feature from the start is Liverpool center-back Ibrahima Konate, who suffered a knee injury in training recently.


Konate, who has struggled with fitness issues over the past few years and lost his place in Liverpool's lineup towards the end of the 2023-24 season, was unexpectedly replaced in the starting XI by Arsenal's William Saliba for Euro 2024. Despite participating in light cycling exercises, Konate is unlikely to recover in time to play against Belgium.


In other team news, Deschamps is reportedly considering dropping Ousmane Dembele from the starting lineup following a series of lackluster performances. The Paris Saint-Germain winger started all three group stage games and won a penalty against Poland, but failed to complete a full 90 minutes in any match. As criticism mounted, Deschamps has experimented with a formation change that could see Marcus Thuram partnering Mbappe up front in a 4-3-1-2 setup, with Antoine Griezmann returning behind the strikers. This tactical adjustment also includes Adrien Rabiot, N'Golo Kante, and Aurelien Tchouameni in midfield, potentially sidelining Bradley Barcola.

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