International Friendly: France v Paraguay

France will be boosted by the return of Real Madrid duo Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane in Sunday's clash with Paraguay in Nice.

France continued preparations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil with a 4-0 rout of Norway on Tuesday in Paris.

And in the second of their three pre-World Cup friendlies, they now meet Paraguay, with the addition of Benzema and Varane sure to help coach Didier Deschamps.

Both men linked up with the French party late after being involved in Real Madrid's UEFA Champions League final win over rivals Atletico Madrid.

And Benzema in particular will be keen to be involved after witnessing his fellow strikers stake their claim in the Norway triumph.

After Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba had put France into a half-time lead, Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud scored a brace that sandwiched QPR striker Loic Remy's effort.

With France being impacted by off-field issues at recent major tournaments, Deschamps will be keen on another promising performance as his side look to build momentum and harmony ahead of their trip to Brazil. 

Deschamps omitted Samir Nasri and Jeremy Menez from his squad for the tournament with both having previously been at the centre of controversies for the national team.

Nasri's exclusion caused a particular stir after an impressive season for Premier League champions Manchester City.

Another warm-up win would further vindicate Deschamps' decision, though ultimately the biggest indicator of his judgement will be France's performances at the World Cup. France will face Honduras, Switzerland and Ecuador in Group E.

For Paraguay, the match represents another opportunity to test themselves against World Cup opposition, after they missed out on the tournament following a miserable qualification campaign.

Victor Genes' side - who had made the last four World Cups, including a run to the quarter-finals in 2010 - finished on the bottom of South American qualifying with a paltry 12 points from 16 games.

Paraguay did win on Thursday, though, with a 2-1 success against Cameroon in Austria giving them just their second win in 10 matches.

Oscar Romero and experienced striker Roque Santa Cruz scored in that win for Paraguay, who are now building for next year's Copa America, and the scalp of France could give them a significant confidence boost.


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