Manchester United’s Paul Pogba is almost certain to start France’s World Cup opener against Australia, boss Didier Deschamps has confirmed.
The midfielder’s inconsistent season at Old Trafford has not broken Deschamps’ faith, while Olivier Giroud is set to be available on Saturday too despite suffering a head injury.
Pogba was jeered by his own fans during a 3-1 friendly win over Italy and failed to inspire in a drab 1-1 draw against the United States.
He made 25 Premier League starts for United last season and still has his critics following an £89million move from Juventus in 2016 but, when asked, Deschamps told France TV broadcaster Telefoot it is “very likely” Pogba will start next weekend.
He added: “Paul Pogba has responded rather well to my expectations. I defended him after the match in Nice against Italy. He was much better yesterday against the USA.”
The boss also offered assurances over Chelsea forward Giroud’s fitness after he was forced off following a clash of heads with USA defender – and Blues team-mate – Matt Miazga.
“Olivier Giroud has a beautiful cut of six centimetres. But he will be able to face Australia,” Deschamps said.
France also face Peru and Denmark in Group C.
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