FIFA World Cup 2022: France vs. Australia odds, picks, team news, lineups, and predictions
France will face Australia in the first Group D group stage match on Tuesday at Al Janoub Stadium. Although F. Karim Benzema, the Ballon d’Or winner, will miss the entire World Cup, France is among the favorites to win it all. France still has one of the strongest lineups in the competition thanks to F Kylian Mbappe. Antoine Griezmann and F. Ousmane Dembele are two other well-known athletes. Australia entered the World Cup with confidence after defeating New Zealand 2-0 in their most recent game. They should be prepared to face the World Cup favorites after 10 shots and a clean sheet. Given that their opponent is rated No. 4, being placed 32nd in the FIFA rankings is not exactly ideal. Given their generally lackluster offense, the Australians are only given an 8% chance of defeating France.
France vs. Australia Preview
France has added the UEFA Nations League as another significant prize to their collection since defeating Croatia on that soggy evening in Moscow, but the drawbacks have overshadowed the advantages for Didier Deschamps and the company. France is already certain to give up its Nations League title following a poor showing in the 2022–23 competition that almost resulted in an inconceivable relegation to League B. France was ousted from Euro 2020 at the last-16 stage.
This France team has also been hampered by several injury issues and off-the-field incidents. France already holds the unwelcome distinction of being the worst-performing World Cup defending champions after exiting in the group stage without a single victory in 2002. Even though their only victory in their last six games was a 2-0 home victory over Austria, France still commands a healthy amount of respect as the defending champions. However, history is not on their side as they attempt to become just the third team—after Italy and Brazil—to win back-to-back World Cups.
In fact, the three reigning champions who came before France—Germany, Spain, and Italy—all had their subsequent tournament runs stop in the group stage. Brazil in 2006 was the last time the defending champions won their first match in a tournament. In the Socceroos’ playoff final match against Peru, Australia manager Graham Arnold perfected the technique of substituting a goalie for a penalty-saving specialist. Andrew Redmayne channeled his inner Bruce Grobbelaar in the shootout, helping to advance Australia.
Australia qualified for the World Cup finals for the fourth time in a row thanks to Redmayne’s efforts, but the Socceroos have lost three group-stage matches during that time and have only won one of their last nine games at the competition, a 2-1 victory over Serbia in 2010. The best result the Socceroos have had on the biggest international stage so far is making it to the round of 16 in 2006. Despite Arnold’s team being caught cheating in AFC qualifying, they have won five games in a row going into their first game.
The Socceroos defeated their Oceanic rivals 2-0 and 1-0 in two September friendlies, but Australia hasn’t scored from open play at a World Cup since Tim Cahill’s blazing goal against the Netherlands in 2014. Australia and France have previously faced off in the World Cup group stage, with France coming out on top 2-1 thanks to Antoine Griezmann’s penalty and an own goal from Aziz Behich. The Socceroos have only triumphed in one of their five encounters with Les Bleus, which took place at the 2001 Confederations Cup.
France vs. Australia Team News
Even before the opening kickoff, injuries have been a recurring topic for France. On Saturday night, Karim Benzema’s forced withdrawal due to a thigh problem made headlines after only recently rejoining Raphael Varane in full training. Deschamps has been compelled to replace Presnel Kimpembe and Christopher Nkunku with Axel Disasi and Randal Kolo Muani, respectively, in addition to not naming a replacement for Benzema.
In Benzema’s absence, the attacking lineup is anticipated to consist of Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, and Ousmane Dembele. Varane may not be risked for the first matchday, therefore Ibrahima Konate and Dayot Upamecano may start at the back. Varane, meanwhile, has been cleared by Deschamps to make his debut, while Eduardo Camavinga, who missed training on Sunday due to soreness, is expected to be OK for kickoff. Hibernian striker Martin Boyle has been dealing with a knee issue and has been forced to leave the team. France is not the only country that has been plagued by injuries.
The 29-year-old has been replaced, and other than Ajdin Hrustic, who has apparently been working as usual following his own injury worry, Arnold has everyone in his squad healthy and ready to go. Despite having had little to no match practice since having his ACL repaired, Stoke City defender Harry Souttar has stated that he is prepared to play on the first matchday. However, Bailey Wright may start off being favored in this situation while Souttar works to regain his fitness.
France’s possible starting lineup: Lloris; Pavard, Upamecano, Konate, Lucas Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud
Australia’s possible starting lineup: Ryan; Atkinson, Wright, Rowles, Behich; Hrustic, Mooy, Irvine; Leckie, Duke, Goodwin
Australia vs. France Prediction
Despite having a wealth of football talent, France will be without the services of a few important players for the FIFA World Cup. Karim Benzema is expected to miss the entire tournament, so players like Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud will have to step up and take on the responsibility of scoring goals. Australia has experienced its fair share of spectacular World Cup moments in the past, but to make an impact this year, it will have to work extremely hard. France should be able to win this game because they are currently the better squad.
Prediction: France 3-1 Australia