France kickoff their World Cup campaign on Saturday against Australia.
The French are expected to do well at this year’s tournament and getting through Group C should be a formality. Didier Deschamps’ team was beaten finalists at the European Championships in 2016. The squad maybe the most talented at the World Cup and has the potential to finally lift an international trophy.
The Aussies are in disarray as Bert van Marwijk was hired in early 2018 to simply oversee the World Cup. The Socceroos squad is made up of players playing in leagues around the world. Only three players come from Australia’s domestic league, the A-League. Van Marwijk has gone for a collection of players more familiar with international level quality.
Van Marwijk surprised many by calling up forward Tim Cahill. The forward is 38 and will serve as a veteran player that can help an inexperienced Australia squad. Cahill is expected to play and won’t be kept on the bench as a player-coach. He has taken great care of himself during his career. But whether Cahill can play a major role in all three group games is unknown.
Deschamps has an embarrassment of riches in the French national team. The number of players he didn’t bring are better than the starting XI for several nations at this year’s tournament. France are head and shoulders above Australia in terms of talent and this fixture is perhaps the most lopsided on paper of the opening group matches.
Deschamps will most likely deploy his two best strikers in attack. Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann are both coming off of brilliant club campaigns. France could come out in a 4-3-1-2 formation. N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi should be used to hold down the midfield. Griezmann or Mbappe can play in a traditional No. 10 role in front of the midfield three. The two could swap freely during the match and give Australia’s defenders headaches throughout the fixture. Olivier Giroud could then be played as a target man alongside the two other forwards. However, Deschamps has so many high-quality players he can mix and match his team.
Australia may line up in a 4-2-3-1. The formation will give them two defensive midfielders to slow down the three-man France attack. As Australia wear down during the match, France should have areas open up for the attack. France will be able to bring on high-quality substitutes in the second half while Australia won’t be able to call on the same type of players.
France should have no difficulty winning their opening fixture against Australia. If the Socceroos aren’t careful, their opening match could get ugly very quickly.
France vs Australia Betting Tips
France to win
Over 2.5 goals
Both teams to Score