Report: Edinson Cavani 'All but Certain' Not to Start Uruguay vs. France

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2018

SOCHI, RUSSIA - JUNE 30: Edinson Cavani of Uruguay is seen during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between Uruguay and Portugal at Fisht Stadium on June 30, 2018 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Uruguay have been dealt a potential hammer blow in their preparations for Friday's 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter-final against France as striker Edinson Cavani is reportedly "all but certain" not to start.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward netted twice in the 2-1 victory over Portugal in the last 16 but then limped off with a calf injury. 

According to beIN Sports (via Get French Football News), there has not been much improvement since Saturday, and Cavani's involvement in Friday's clash at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Russia is now in major doubt:

Cavani, 31, proved how vital he is to Uruguay with his double against the Portuguese, and France will be buoyed if he is indeed sidelined.

Les Bleus finally showed what they're capable of with a fantastic attacking display in a 4-3 last-16 defeat of Argentina.

But it was also made apparent that Didier Deschamps' defensive system is vulnerable, and Cavani would have been key to Uruguay unpicking it.

Cavani's likely absence is not terminal to La Celeste's chances of making the semi-finals.

Uruguay still have Luis Suarez to lead the line, while back-up strikers Cristhian Stuani and Maxi Gomez netted a combined 38 goals in La Liga last term for Girona and Celta Vigo, respectively.

Meanwhile, Oscar Tabarez is one of the canniest and most experienced managers in the tournament, and he will doubtless come up with a system to reduce the impact of Cavani's absence.   

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