France vs Australia – Preview, Predictions and Betting Tips
This match is over: Final score is: 2-1
Next France match: France vs Peru
Next Australia match: Denmark vs Australia
16th June 2018 – 11.00 GMT
Kazan Arena, Kazan
France will hope to make a winning start to the competition they last won 20 years as they take on underdogs Australia in their opening match of Group C at the 2018 World Cup.
Didier Deschamp’s side will be favourites to advance through a group which also includes Peru and Denmark, with the Socceroos facing a tough task to advance to the last 16.
France ran out comfortable 6-0 victors the last time the sides met, in a friendly back in October 2013. Olivier Giroud netted twice while Franck Ribery, Mathieu Debuchy, Yohan Cabaye and Karim Benzema also were on the scoresheet.
Les Bleus still have a number of mainstays who propelled them to the 2016 European Championships final against Portugal. One of the pre-tournament favourites to lift the trophy, they will call upon star names such as Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe, who lead a star-studded squad.
Australia have only progressed past the group stage phase of the competition once, in 2006, and they are hamstrung once more with a lack of first-team players playing top-level football. Hertha Berlin forward Mathew Leckie, midfielder Tom Rogic from Celtic and captain Mile Jedinak, now at Aston Villa, are among their key men.
France breezed through their qualifying group leading up to the World Cup, racking up 23 points and just one defeat in their 10 matches. They only found the net 18 times during that campaign, with their strength built upon a formidable backline which conceded just six goals.
They are favourites to win this one, with William Hill offering 17/100 on them coming away the victors, after Australia scrapped through playoff ties with Syria and Honduras.
This is a tie of the group favorites against the rank outsiders and the gulf in quality between the two could be notable, especially with France aiming to make a fast start.
Bert van Marwijk’s Australia have failed to score in four matches in the past year along – including games with Japan and Syria – and coupled with France’s strong defence, they may not trouble the scoreboard in this one either.
William Hill has odds of 17/20 for fewer than 2.5 goals, which would tally with the probability of France recording another comfortable, but low-scoring victory.
- Australia have won just three of their last 12 matches, and none away from home
- The only competitive meeting between the sides came in the 2001 Confederations Cup, when Clayton Zane’s strike won the tie for Australia
- Olivier Giroud has scored in four of his last six appearances for France – he’s 29/10 with 888sport to score the first goal
- Mile Jedinak and Tim Cahill are the only two Australian internationals to have netted double figures for their nation and Cahill is 8/1 at 888sport to score anytime
- Australia have five home-based players in their squad, while France have eight.
France: Hugo Lloris (captain), Benjamin Pavard, Presnel Kimpembe, Raphaël Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Lemar, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappé, Ousmane Dembélé, Corentin Tolisso, N’Golo Kanté, Blaise Matuidi, Steven Nzonzi, Steve Mandanda, Adil Rami, Nabil Fekir, Djibril Sidibé, Florian Thauvin, Lucas Hernández, Benjamin Mendy, Alphonse Areola.
Iran: Alireza Beiranvand, Mehdi Torabi, Ehsan Hajsafi, Rouzbeh Cheshmi, Milad Mohammadi, Saeid Ezatolahi, Masoud Shojaei (captain), Morteza Pouraliganji, Omid Ebrahimi, Karim Ansarifard, Vahid Amiri, Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri, Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh, Saman Ghoddos, Pejman Montazeri, Reza Ghoochannejhad, Mehdi Taremi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Majid Hosseini, Sardar Azmoun, Ashkan Dejagah, Amir Abedzadeh, Ramin Rezaeian.