France vs Australia. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more
Qatar will look a lot like the victorious 2018 World Cup for France. In particular, in the group stage, the Blues will face almost all the same opponents as at the previous Mundial (only Tunisia replaced Peru), and Didier Deschamps’ team will again play their first match at the tournament against Australia. But this time the French are a lot less optimistic ahead of the starting whistle, and there are several reasons for that. Parimatchnews will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.
France News & Current Form:
In addition to Australia, the French team will also play against Denmark and Tunisia in the group stage of the tournament, and in such a quartet, Les Bleus should certainly be confident of reaching the playoffs. Deschamp’s side, the reigning champions, will be obliged to play excellently at the Mundial, and their all-round squad full of talents and big names is reasonably certain to seek their second straight World Cup triumph. However, things are not all that simple…
Firstly, during the whole of 2022, the French national team was constantly surrounded by various problems. Off the pitch, the team’s players have been beset by numerous scandals (including the one involving Kylian Mbappe). In addition, their level of play has suffered a decline, as reflected in the Blues’ results in the Nations League. Didier Deschamps lads, coming into the competition as reigning champions, were narrowly relegated to the B division with just one win in six games. All the French were able to do was to beat Austria at home, and somehow get ahead of them in the table.
Against the backdrop of such poor results, the replacement of the head coach began to be widely speculated. Although the experienced Didier Deschamps is coping admirably with the pressure, such a background could also have a negative impact on the French team. On top of that, the decade at the helm for the 54-year-old is already coming to a logical end, as it is expected that regardless of the result in Qatar, after the tournament Deschamps will be replaced by Zinedine Zidane, who has been waiting for his chance to take up the position for a long time.
Secondly, the French national team is currently experiencing a real injury blow. Les Bleus did lose a considerable number of key players: Paul Pogba and N’golo Kante will miss the tournament in Qatar through injury, Presnel Kimpembe and Christopher Nkunku were hurt already in the national team’s camp, while the Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema is also out.
By far the most shocking is the loss of El Gato right on the eve of the WC kick-off. It’s probably something comparable to Zidane’s injury in 2002, when he ruptured his thigh muscle and only came out in the World Cup game against Denmark (which, however, was of little help).
Despite heavy losses in the attacking ranks, there is no need to worry about the attacking power as Deschamps can play with the experienced Olivier Giroud, who is having a good season at AC Milan (9 goals + 5 assists), and no less battle hardened Antoine Griezmann, while the leading scorer of the team, Killian Mbappe, represents the vanguard of the attacking force.
Furthermore, two Bundesliga players — Randal Kolo Muani (8 G + 10 A) and Marcus Thuram (13 G + 4 A) — are already stepping on their heels. The main stars of Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Mönchengladbach are keen to show themselves on the international stage and will be clutching at any opportunity.
Centre midfield is also difficult to imagine without Pogba and Kanté. But perhaps there is hope: in central midfield we can find two of Real Madrid’s rising stars at once: Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouameni. Both players are among the top talents of the emerging generation, while also representing the future of Los Blancos. This Mundial is a great chance for them to declare that they are ready to be superstars here and now.
What is also worth mentioning is the worrying trend, where the reigning world champions have not started a tournament with a victory since 2006. What’s more: the previous three holders of the FIFA World Cup (Italy, Spain and Germany) had sensationally failed to defend their title during the group stage of the tournament. France had already been through something similar in 2002 (by the way, also in Asia) when they finished last in the group with one point against Denmark, Senegal and Uruguay.
Australia News & Current Form:
The Australian side have been a stalwart at the World Cup since 2006, but only managed to get past the group stage once, in Germany. This time, they will try to do their best, although it will be challenging, given the kind of opponents they are playing against in their quartet.
The squad is made up of players from a wide range of clubs, not only from the top European leagues but also from all over the world. Still, Graham Arnold has no real star players at his disposal, the generation of Tim Cahill and Mark Viduka belong to the past, and the only famous players here are perhaps Matthew Ryan (Copenhagen) and Aaron Mooy (Celtic). The rest either play for little-known teams, or for the middles and outsiders of low-tier championships. So the Australians will be focusing on teamwork and, maybe, on some youth.
The most successful WC edition in the last few decades dates back to 2006. The team from the green continent then finished second in their group with three sides – Brazil, Croatia and Japan – before reaching the last eight where they lost to Italy, conceding the only goal of the game on a dubious penalty shot in the added time. The Australians then moved on from the Oceania Football Confederation to Asia, leaving their home region to New Zealand. Regular meetings with strong opponents have helped them to qualify (Australia have not conceded a World Cup since), but they have never managed to advance from the group stage again.
Talking about the present, the first half of the year saw them play the decisive games in the long FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers. They made the intercontinental play-offs and beat Peru in a penalty shoot-out to earn the penultimate qualification to Qatar.
In the remaining games of the year, Australia have won five games (three clean sheets), with one draw and two defeats.
Still, there is nothing in their performance so far that can be taken as a guarantee to make it out of the group not; since 2006, the Australians have not come even close to getting that chance – maybe they have ambitions to do so, but the class speaks for itself.
Aaron Mooy, who used to play for Brighton before the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to emerge as the team’s “ringleader”. Several other players (e.g. Souttar, Atkinson, Devlin) made appearances at the Tokyo Olympics and know what it is like to play in the final part of the tournament. This opens up the opportunity for them to gain invaluable experience of the World Cup games at the very least. And at the maximum, the Yellow Greens will do everything they can to claw out all the points they can get.
France form guide: L-D-D-L-W-L
Australia form guide: L-W-W-W-W-W
France vs Australia: Head-To-Head Record:
- May 26, 1994: France 1 – 0 Australia (Kirin Japan Cup);
- June 01, 2001: France 0 -1 Australia (FIFA Confederations Cup);
- November 11, 2001: France 1 – 1 Australia (International Friendly);
- October 11, 2013: France 6 – 0 Australia (International Friendly);
- June 16, 2018: France 2 – 1 Australia (World Cup 2018).
The last time the teams met was at the 2018 World Cup. Australia weren’t about to give up easily, as the statistics and 2-1 scoreline indicate. Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring with a penalty, and four minutes later Mile Jedinak responded. However, Aziz Behic’s own goal sealed the outcome.
France vs Australia Predicted XI:
France possible starting lineup: Lloris; Pavard, Upamecano, Konate, Lucas Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud.
Australia possible starting lineup: Ryan; Atkinson, Wright, Rowles, Behich; Hrustic, Mooy, Irvine; Leckie, Duke, Goodwin.
Statistical preview of the match France vs Australia:
- France have scored in 21 of the last 23 games.
- Australia have conceded in each of their last 7 FIFA World Cup games.
- France have not lost in 9 of the last 10 FIFA World Cup games.
- Australia have not won in each of their last 6 FIFA World Cup games.
- France have scored less than 2.5 goals in 8 of the last 9 FIFA World Cup games.
- Australia have scored less than 1.5 goals in each of their last 6 FIFA World Cup games.
What has been said before the match:
Australia’s coach Graham Arnold said:
“I’ve hardly mentioned the word France and I’ve hardly mentioned any of their players’ names. It doesn’t matter who’s in front of (my players) and that’s not being disrespectful at all. These kids have a lot of talent and I know their mentality. They don’t step back from anybody. They look forward and go forward.”
Didier Deschamps, French national team gaffer:
“We know that the first game in a competition is always very important. There’s no anxiety or anything. Everyone is calm, everyone’s got a cool head. We know that Australia will be a difficult opponent, they’ll give us a run for our money, but we will put everything we can into place for the win.”
“We’ve done everything possible [to prepare well]. The boys are feeling good about this first game, the best that they can.”
France vs Australia Prediction:
France, even after losing some key players, look very solid and coherent before the start of the Mundial. Many of the players need no introduction, including the non-essentials – they all have hit excellent form and are tearing it up in the strongest national leagues. They will certainly try to defend the title, having the highest ambitions for the tournament. The team are considered the favourites in their group and will try to prove it in the opening game – the whole match narrative will be in the hands of France. Les Bleus are by all accounts superior to their rivals and the Aussies are bound to be in a serious fight from the opening minutes.
Australia do not have the quality of opposition in their own region that they often encounter in World Cups. And the line-up is quite modest, the very fact that Mbappe alone costs several times more than the entire Socceroos team, speaks volumes. Hence the disappointing performance of a team that cannot compete with classier opponents. In our opinion, the reigning World Champions, having such a high superiority in class, will face no problems in this game and can easily take their three points in a confident style.
Parimatch News staff prediction:
We say: France to win with and an individual total over 1.5 – Yes.