Group C: France vs Australia
After two thrilling Group B encounters which saw Iran edge past Morocco by 1-0 and Ronaldo’s Portugal holding Spain 3-3, the tournament now moves onto Group C. In the very first match, we will be watching France Vs Australia at the Kazan Stadium in Russia.
France walked into the tournament as one of the title contenders. While Australia would like to make the most of their time at the biggest stage in football. Australia have been a regulars in the past three FIFA World Cups with a Last-16 finish in the FIFA World Cup 2006 being their best.
Lets look in to the Team strengths, key players and the possible line-ups before the France Vs Australia game.
France and Australia have never faced each other in the World Cup. The last instance when these two teams faced each other ended 6-0 in favor of the Les Blues in a 2013 friendly match.
Les Blues under the management of Didier Deschamps are much stronger than their previous World Cup sides. After a dismal FIFA World Cup 2010 and a Quarter-Final finish in Brazil at the FIFA World Cup 2014, France have grouped well since then and made into the finals of the 2016 Euros.
The depth and versatility in their squad is what makes France a genuine contender this time. France didn’t have much of a struggle in qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2018. They started the preparations on the right note with victories over Italy, Ireland and Russia.
Key Players :
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
After deciding to stay at Atletico Madrid over expected transfers to Barcelona, the French forward would be looking to do amends for the Euro 2016 finals. Griezmann was the key for France reaching the 2016 Euros Finals by netting 6 goals, scoring two against Germany in the Semi-finals. He also netted 29 goals for Atletico Madrid this season.
Footage of Antoine Griezmann & his friend asking for autographs of the France squad pre the 1998 World Cup. 20 years later, Griezmann a leading light for France in their pursuit for glory in Russia. pic.twitter.com/ciTblWx7bf
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) June 11, 2018
France would want Antoine Griezmann in the best of his form if they want to get the Golden Trophy starting with today’s France Vs Australia.
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)
The shot stopper and captain will also be the key for France between the sticks. With 98 caps for the national side, the Tottenham goal-keeper is a proven leader and a excellent communicator on the field. Lloris will also be the pivot in France’s performance at the FIFA World Cup 2018.
France kick off their World Cup campaign tomorrow going head to head with Australia.. Here is the man himself. Captain. Leader. Legend. Hugo Lloris pic.twitter.com/Yd9w5tWAxd
— uhlsport UK & IRE (@uhlsportUK) June 15, 2018
Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe are the other players to watch out for at the World Cup. France also boast of players like Pogba, Kante, Fekir, Varane and Umtiti assembling a really world class team.
Lloris, Umtiti, Varane, Pavard, Hernandez, Kante, Tolisso, Pogba, Dembele, Mbappe, Griezzman.
Australia unlike France had a difficult qualifying round. They finished third in Group B of the AFC Cup Third Round before winning against Syria for the 5th place Play-off. This kept their hopes alive. In the Inter-Confederation finals, to confirm the last two spots to the FIFA World Cup 2018, they defeated Honduras 3-1 on aggregate to grab the penultimate spot. Australia though didn’t make it past the group stage last time they enlightened the World Cup in Brazil, they held their nerves by scoring twice before losing 3-2 to the Netherlands.
Australia had a good preparation round with a 0-0 draw against Colombia before winning 4-0 against the Czechs and finishing up with a 2-1 victory over Hungary.
Tim Cahill (Millwall F.C)
The 38 year-old was the top scorer for Australia (11 goals) in the qualifying rounds. His presence on the field would be a morale boost for the Australians especially for today’s France Vs Australia fixture.
— TIM CAHILL (@Tim_Cahill) June 15, 2018
Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa)
The Aston Villa midfielder has netted 8 goals, the second highest for Australia in the qualifiers, quite high for a defensive midfielder. Jedinak would hold the key for Australia in the mid-field and for spot-kicks.
Today's the day! 🏆
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) June 14, 2018
Huddersfield Town striker Aaron Mooy would also be another player to watch out for in the France Vs Australia game.
Ryan, Risdon, Sainsbury, Jedinak, Behich; Luongo, Mooy, Leckie, Kruse, Irvine; Juric.
France are likely to win this encounter with a goal margin of 3-1.