France are sweating on the fitness of skipper Wendie Renard for their must-win Women’s World Cup clash with Brazil on Saturday.
The defender missed training on several days this week after picking up a calf injury in France’s disappointing goalless draw with Jamaica in their opener. However, she took part in Friday’s session in Brisbane, on the eve of the Group F encounter.
“Of course we hope that tomorrow everything will go well because we need her,” coach Herve Renard – no relation to the player – told reporters. “We are not certain tonight 100 percent, we will have the answer tomorrow because training sessions do not compare to a competitive game.”
France’s opening result has put them under pressure going into the match against a Brazil side who started their World Cup in impressive fashion, thumping Panama 4-0 with Ary Borges scoring a hat-trick.
‘Les Bleues’ would be at risk of an early elimination if they fail to get three points against the Brazilians. “She knows her body, she has played at the top level for years, so she will decide, not the coach,” added Renard, who coached Saudi Arabia at the men’s World Cup in Qatar last year.
The only France player who did not play a full part in training on Friday was forward Naomie Feller, who has been struggling with a thigh problem. She was an unused substitute against Jamaica.