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    World Cup final: confirmed France and Argentina lineups

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    Angel Di Maria is returning to Argentina’s starting XI for the World Cup final, while France are fielding a full-strength lineup despite multiple fitness concerns.

    In the days leading up to the final, it was unclear how either side would line up for it with talk of a virus going through the French camp as well as far-fetched rumours of a Karim Benzema return and Lionel Scaloni changing his Argentina XI throughout the tournament.

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    Those changes saw Di Maria drop to the bench for the first three knockout matches but he’s starting the final one, coming in for Juventus teammate Leandro Paredes. The 34-year-old will presumably line up on the right-hand side for his nation with Julian Alvarez and Lionel Messi the other attackers as expected.

    Behind them, the midfield will consist of Alexis Mac Allister, Enzo Fernandez and Rodrigo de Paul while Nahuel Molina, Nicolas Otamendi, Cristian Romero and Nicolas Tagliafico will form the defence with first-choice left-back Marcos Acuna injured.

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    There were fears that multiple France players would miss the final for the same reason that Adrian Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano missed the semi-final with many others, including Olivier Giroud and Raphael Varane, struck down by illness, but the pair are well enough to start as are the rest of the first-team regulars with Rabiot and Upamecano returning.

    Argentina Starting 11 (4-3-3): E Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez.

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    France Starting 11 (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud.

    Harry Symeou hosts Andy Headspeath, Quentin Gesp and Jack Gallagher to look back on the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia – join us!

    If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

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