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Rabiot back for France in World Cup final, Di Maria starts for Argentina

Adrien Rabiot (left) returns to the France squad for today's World Cup final against Argentina. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP

Adrien Rabiot returns from illness in one of two changes to the France team for Sunday’s World Cup final against Lionel Messi’s Argentina, for whom Angel Di Maria comes into the side.

Midfielder Rabiot and centre-back Dayot Upamecano were both left out of the French side for the semi-final win over Morocco after contracting a virus that has also affected other members of the France squad.

However, they are both back in the line-up named by coach Didier Deschamps, as Youssouf Fofana and Ibrahima Konate make way.

The rest of the French line-up is unchanged, with centre-back Raphael Varane able to play despite missing training on Friday with cold-like symptoms.

Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud retains his place in the French attack with Kylian Mbappe on the left, despite some suggestions that the latter would play through the middle and Marcus Thuram would start.

The introduction of the experienced Di Maria is the only change to the Argentina side that beat Croatia 3-0 in the semi-finals.

The Juventus winger takes the place of midfielder Leandro Paredes, joining Messi and Julian Alvarez in a three-man attack.

Messi is the lone survivor from the Argentina team that started the 2014 final defeat by Germany. Di Maria was also in the squad but missed that game because of injury.

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