Today’s Predictions : France Vs Australia
France 2 – 1 Australia
The fifth match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 is between European giants France and Australia.
- Date : 17th June 2018
- Time : 11:30 PM (IST)
- Venue : Sochi Stadium
In the fifth match of the tournament, 1998 Champions France begin their campaign against the Kangaroos in what is expected to be a one sided affair in favour of Les Bleus.
FIFA World Cup Qualification
France had a decent qualifying phase, topping a tricky group also including Sweden and The Netherlands, eventually finishing 4 points above both of them. Draws against Luxemborg and Belarus, however, were disappointing, and Didier Deschamps’ men would be looking to improve to live up to the tag of pre-tournament favourites.
Australia really grinded to merit their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. After finishing 3rd behind Japan and Saudi Arabia in their qualifying, they had to endure grueling 2 legged play-offs against Honduras and Syria. Winning those crunch ties earned them a 4th consecutive qualification to the World Cup. However, their coach Ange Postecoglou resigned immediately after achieving qualification, under mysterious circumstances.
France have been in confident form in recent times, with 3 big wins in a row against Italy, Ireland and Russia. A rare 3-2 defeat to Colombia was preceded by an entertaining 2-2 draw with defending World Champions Germany, proving that this new young crop of French footballers have what it takes to match with the best in the world.
Australia have won 2 and drawn 2 of their last 5 matches, however a disappointing 4-1 defeat to Norway has got fans worried about their chances at the World Cup. The team is still looking confident though, with a change in formation and return of some key players from injury helping them to a 4-0 victory against the Czech Republic.
Head To Head Record
These two nations have met 4 times before, with France having the upper hand with 2 wins, including a mammoth 6-0 win in their most recent clash. However, Australia stunned France in the only competitive match they played when they beat them 1-0 at the 2001 Confederation’s Cup.
Along with Spain, France have dropped some of most high profile players in the world, to the shock and dismay of many fans. Manchester United’s mercurial winger Antony Martial and FC Bayern’s Kingsley Coman could not find a space in the final 23 man squad. Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema was excluded as expected, but an even bigger omission was that of Arsenal’s new striker Lacazette, while the player he essentially replaced at the club i.e. Olivier Giroud being selected instead. Dimitri Payet also lost the race against time to be fit for the tournament.
Australia recalled their 38-year-old talismanic forward Tim Cahill for the World Cup, much to the delight of their fans. He joins Miles Jedinak as one of the senior figures in the team with vast Premier League experience. Defenders Trent Sainsbury and Matt Jurman missed the recent friendlies due to injury but both would be looking to return to the starting lineup for the first game.
Players To Watch Out For
When it comes to France, the spotlight will firmly be on their number 10 Antoine Griezmann, who won the Golden Boot as well as the Golden Ball at Euro 2016, to prove that he can elevate his game when it comes to playing for his nation. Premier League midfield enforcers Paul Pogba and N’golo Kante will be looking to live up to the hype and form a formidable partnership in the middle. This could also be Ousmanne Dembele’s chance to announce himself at the biggest stage of them all.
Australia will be looking for some inspiration from their Premier League based players. Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy would be looking to transfer his brilliant club form to the World Cup as well, while experienced campaigner Miles Jedinak will try to dominate the midfield alongside him. Tim Cahill has been called up but his lack of fitness may mean that they turn to young Jamie Mclaren for goals, as he has been prolific in his recent loan spell.
France Vs Australia Betting Odds And Key Statistics
- France are the heavy favourites for this clash, and would be looking to begin with a good win to lay down the marker for the other hopefuls.
- Australia suffered one of their biggest ever defeats the last time they played against France, with Les Bleus crushing them 6-0.
- Tim Cahill has scored almost half of Australia’s 11 World Cup goals in their entire history. Scoring at this tournament will make him just the 4th player ever to score in 4 consecutive World Cups.
- France would be looking to boost their goal difference as well, and hence we strongly recommend betting on the above 2.5 goals market for this fixture.
- Australia have only won 2 World Cup matches in their history.
- We also recommend betting on Griezmann to score more than once.
While Australia seem to have finally found their preferred formation under their new manager, France just have way too much firepower for them, and should easily see this through.
Our Predicted Scoreline: France 3 – 0 Australia