Chelsea midfielder N‘Golo Kante has been ruled out of France’s final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at home to Belarus on Tuesday due to a muscle injury.

National team coach Didier Deschamps disclosed this after Kante limped off shortly after half an hour and was replaced by Adrien Rabiot during France’s 1-0 away win over Bulgaria on Saturday.

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The 1998 champions have now moved within touching distance of qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Russia.

“I can’t count on him for the next game. It’s a muscular problem behind the thigh,“ Deschamps said. ”Kante and Rabiot pretty much swapped. It is fixed for Tuesday.

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“N‘Golo had a crucial part to play, obviously. After N‘Golo’s injury, Adrien Rabiot came on in the same role, maybe not with the same quality as N‘Golo.”

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Les Bleus lead Group A with 20 points, one ahead of Sweden, and will qualify directly for the World Cup if they beat Belarus.


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