Grieving Deschamps to miss France match against Denmark

France faces Denmark at the Stade de France on Friday, the first of its four Nations League matches in 11 days.

Reuters
File Photo: France coach Didier Deschamps

France coach Didier Deschamps will miss its first Nations League match against Denmark on Friday following the death of his father, assistant coach Guy Stephan said on Thursday.

Stephan has run the team's training sessions this week in the absence of Deschamps.

"I have had Didier regularly on the phone since Tuesday, he is obviously affected by the grief that is hitting him, but he is strong," Stephan told a news conference.

Advertising
Advertising

"He will not be here tomorrow. He will be back soon. You have to respect his grief, he is with his family who needs him."

READ: Neymar doubles up from the spot as Brazil thumps Korea

France faces Denmark at the Stade de France on Friday, the first of its four Nations League matches in 11 days.

"We will play Denmark in the Nations League and at the World Cup. Three games in all. It also allows the opponent to know us better," Stephan said.

"Denmark are a little underrated, they are 11th in the world rankings ahead of Austria, Germany, Sweden. They're a solid team, with quality players. We'll have a lot to do tomorrow. But we're ready.

"They're a very robust team defensively, very compact, they are able to press the opposition like against the Netherlands. When they have the ball, especially when Eriksen plays, it is very subtle in the game with double passes. It's extraordinary."

READ: Real Madrid boosts defense by signing RĂ¼diger from Chelsea

Stephan did not say whether striker Karim Benzema, who ended his outstanding season with Real Madrid by lifting the Champions League trophy in the French capital on Saturday, would be involved in the match.

"Karim just did yesterday's session, which was pretty playful. We are still 24 hours away from the game, we have the afternoon training. We have time to see how he's recovered."

France also plays two games against Croatia and one versus Austria in this international window.