Mbappe goes through paces as depleted France prepare for World Cup defence - in pictures

Les Bleus face Australia in their opener on Tuesday night without a raft of key players

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France begin their World Cup title defence on Tuesday night following a less-than-ideal build-up, which has seen several key players ruled out of the tournament in Qatar.

Les Bleus were already braced for the absence of starting central midfield pair Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante but the injury list has been growing in recent weeks. Central defender Presnel Kimpembe, back-up goalkeeper Mike Maignan, and striker Christopher Nkunku have all also been ruled out, before Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema went down injured during a training session.

Meanwhile, centre-back Raphael Varane has been sidelined since the end of October and is in a race against time to be ready for the start of France's campaign.

Setting aside a potential injury crisis, the France squad, led by forward Kylian Mbappe, remains full of talent and the players took part in a final training session at Al Janoub Stadium on Monday evening in preparation for their opening game against Australia.

France defeated Australia 2-1 in their first game en route to the 2018 title in Russia and will once again be heavy favourites to claim maximum points on Tuesday night.

Check out the best photos from France's training session in the gallery above. To move on to the next photo, click on the arrows or if using a mobile device, simply swipe.

Updated: November 22, 2022, 8:20 AM
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