France head into their World Cup Group C opener against Australia in Kazan with the weight of expectation on their shoulders.
Didier Deschamps’s men were beaten finalists on home soil at Euro 2016 and are the overwhelming favourites to top the standings, but they face a Socceroos side that has racked up some impressive results of late. France were widely expected to beat a depleted Portugal in the Euro 2016 final and their failure to do so with home advantage on their side raised questions about Les Bleus’ ability to compete with the best teams in the world.
They have since responded to their critics with a near-flawless qualifying campaign, losing only once on their way to Russia and topping their group with a four-point lead over runners-up Sweden. Since qualifying, the French have maintained solid form, losing only one of their last six matches and scoring 13 goals along the way.
Les Bleus’ only defeat during that run was a 3-2 reverse at home to Colombia, though that result was sandwiched between a respectable 2-2 draw with world champions Germany and a 3-1 victory against World Cup hosts Russia.
Goals have not been a problem for the Euro 2016 runners-up since they have netted 17 in their last eight matches, thanks in no small part to the form of Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.
There are a number of reasons why France are the overwhelming favourites to see off Australia in their Group C opener, and that includes their record against sides placed outside of the top 20 in the FIFA World Rankings.
When facing teams positioned between 20th and 40th, Deschamps’s side has won nine out of their last 11, which does not bode well for the 26th-placed Aussies.
World Cup history is also on the side of the French as they have not conceded a single goal in a World Cup opening match since losing to Senegal as defending champions in the 2002 tournament.
The Aussies approach their World Cup opener as clear underdogs, a tag that often applies to them when playing on the world stage.
The Socceroos met stiff competition during qualifying, eventually finishing behind Saudi Arabia and Japan in a tight group table, which condemned them to the playoffs.
However, a comfortable 3-1 aggregate victory over Honduras across two legs saw Bert van Marwijk’s side become the 31st team to book their spot in Russia.
Since qualifying, Australia has been in good form, scoring six times during impressive victories over the Czech Republic and Hungary this month, and heading to the finals on a run of only two defeats in six.
The Aussies are expected to find themselves under the cosh against a much-fancied France side, but their goalscoring record against the world’s top teams gives them a glimmer of hope.
Since 2011, they have scored in seven of their last 10 encounters with teams placed in the top 10 of the FIFA World Rankings, and France are currently seventh.
Van Marwijk’s side, however, is known to be defensively frail against top-class opposition, although their last three internationals produced two clean sheets and only one goal against.
The Dutch coach’s experience at World Cups could be crucial for the Aussies, with the 66-year-old having guided the Dutch to the final of the 2010 competition
|Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)||Brad Jones (Feyenoord)|
|Steve Mandanda (Marseille)||Mat Ryan (Brighton)|
|Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)||Danny Vukovic (Genk)|
|Djibril Sidibe (Monaco)||Aziz Behich (Bursaspor)|
|Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart)||Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos)|
|Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona)||Matthew Jurman (Suwon Samsung Bluewings)|
|Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)||James Meredith (Millwall)|
|Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain)||Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers)|
|Adil Rami (Marseille)||Trent Sainsbury (Grasshoppers)|
|Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City)|
|Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid)|
|Paul Pogba (Manchester United)||Jackson Irvine (Hull)|
|Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)||Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa)|
|Blaise Matuidi (Juventus)||Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers)|
|Ngolo Kante (Chelsea)||Mark Milligan (Al Ahli)|
|Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla)||Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield)|
|Tom Rogic (Celtic)|
|Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)||Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City)|
|Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)||Tim Cahill (Millwall)|
|Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)||Tomi Juric (FC Luzern)|
|Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)||Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin)|
|Florian Thauvin (Marseille)||Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds)|
|Nabil Fekir (Lyon)||Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets)|
|Thomas Lemar (Monaco)||Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa)|
|James Maclaren (Darmstadt)|
France vs Australia USA, UK, Pak and Indian Time of FIFA World Cup 2018
According to Standard Time, France vs Australia match will start at 11:00 AM UK, 15:00 PM Pakistan, 13:00 PM Russia 15:30 PM India and USA 6:00 AM sharp. The match would a tough one as Portugal was also struggling against Spanish attack.
|Competition||FIFA World Cup 2018|
|Date||16 June 2018|
|Time||11:00 AM UK, 15:00 PM Pakistan, 13:00 PM Russia 15:30 PM India and USA 6:00 AM|
|Venue||Kazan arena Kazan stadium|
|Seating capacity||45,379 – Construction cost: $ 450 million, Field size: 105 x 68 m|
Track Record of Both Teams – Win, lose:
France vs Australia Match Predictions:
Predictions: France-3 vs Australia-1
As per our assumption, France will Win the match, as we mentioned earlier that France is in good touch right now and their winning track speaks about their performance, however, Australia will try hard to give a tough time to France.