France vs Australia
Kick-off Time: 03:30 pm (IST) 

France will be hoping to get a strong start to their World Cup campaign when they meet Australia in Kazan on the 16th of June. Les Blues are expected to go far in Russia, while the Socceroos will have a difficult time moving forward from the group stage. 

With matches against Peru and Denmark yet to come, the Australians must get the best out of this game in order to stand a chance to go to the round of sixteen. 

Preview

The Austrailian National team will be playing against a team of uber-talented players who are well above their weight class. They have a history of troubled World Cup qualification campaign but there have also been positive results from them in recent friendlies. The Socceroos will nevertheless face a huge challenge to escape Group C to reach the knockout stage. With Denmark and Peru awaiting them, Australia cannot afford to lose with a heavy margin against France as it will only lessen their chances of moving forward. They need to learn from their past mistakes to ensure the scoreline doesn’t land them in trouble.

Unlike struggling Australia, the French National team had a good run in the qualifiers for Russia, losing just one game and conceding only six goals. Deschamps‘ however is entering this game after a 1-1 draw with the US in their last friendly before the World Cup, which showed that the French were not invincible. Whether or not the Australians can do the same, only time will tell. On paper, it’s hard to see the French side losing, but the Socceroos can never be written off.

Team News

AustraliaBert van Marwijk will be desperate to ensure that his team played well and aren’t handed a big defeat. Therefore, we expect the Dutchman to play it safe with his squad and possibly favor more defensive players so that the team doesn’t concede many goals. Mathew Ryan will surely start in goal, while the back four will likely remain unchanged despite their shaky gameplay against Hungary during their friendlies. In midfield, Jackson Irvine is a potential preference to start due to his aerial and physical strength in midfield. Up front, Tomi Juric & Tim Cahill will likely start up front and will be crucial for the Socceroos as they need to do all they can to neutralize the deadly French. 

France: There’s no reason why this French team doesn’t have the ability to lift the World Cup. They have a brilliantly talented set of players. Captain of Les Blues, Hugo Lloris is certainly going to start in goal. Further up, Deschamps will find it hard not to include Premier League duo Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante in the midfield roles. The leading the line is a difficult task to choose, even for the manager but Antoine Griezmann would most probably start as he has been the key to their attacking threat.

Key players

France: Antoine Griezmann was the top scorer and player of the tournament at UEFA EURO 2016 and he will be out to make his mark on another major competition. The French forward provided 4 goals and 4 assists for Les Bleus in the Russia 2018 qualifiers.

AustraliaTim Cahill, the evergreen Australian forward seems to get better with age. Having scored 11 goals on the road to the World Cup 2018, he is undoubtedly the most important player for the Austrailian team.

Form – Last 5

France: D W | W |L

Australia:  | W D | L | W

Betting Odds – Sky Bet

France 1/4

Draw 5/1

Austraila 11/1

Score Prediction

France 4 – 1 Australia: To simply put it, Australia does not stand a chance against the deadly French side as they are and always have been worlds apart. Australia will be playing their best for a draw but France will likely batter them with their perpetual attacking threat the whole of the 90 minutes.

Where to watch?

TV Channels (India) – Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony ESPN – 11:30 P.M IST

In addition, you can live stream all the Matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup from 14th June to 15th July only on the Official SonyLIV App and the SonyLIV Website.

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