Australia, a threat to France?
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The World Cup has started and there will be 64 matches in total across 32 days of action. Russia have beaten Saudi Arabia heavily on the opening day (5-0) and another big scoreline could be seen this Saturday. France will be playing against Australia, in their start towards at least the semifinals, which is probably one of the goals of Didier Deschamps.
France are currently in an odd situation. They failed to win the European Championship when they hosted it and their current side has so much depth plenty of their rivals would want to have. Yet, during qualifiers, they managed to lose to Sweden and even draw 0-0 at home against Lichtenstein. France are currently on a streak of 4 matches without a loss (W3 D1 L0). They beat Russia 3-1 in a friendly back in March, and then cruised past Republic of Ireland with a 2-0 victory. In June friendlies, Les Bleus beat Italy 3-1 and then make a poor performance against USA and draw the match 1-1.
Didier Deschamps does not have injured, suspended, or doubtful players for the tournament opener, but he will have some thoughts about which attacking players will start.
Australia are a team that really struggled to get to the World Cup. They were fine from shining in their qualifying group, finishing third after 10 matches, which meant they had to play in two play-offs.
First, they had problems getting past Syria, but after they managed that, their win over Honduras at home was enough to clinch the spot in Russia. Australia are an uneventful and uninspiring side that will see Tim Cahill play his fourth consecutive World Cup.
During their 4 friendlies, Australia lost once and heavily so against Norway, getting beaten 4-1. But after that their form improved. Colombia was held to a 0-0 draw, while Czech Republic and Hungary both lost to the Socceroos.
Still, there are many eyebrows raised when this team is being mentioned, as Australia look like a poor side that might a point here and there, but will be far away from reaching the last 16.
Australia do not have injured players ahead of this game.
They will be expected to play in a 3-5-2 formation converting to a 5-3-2 against stronger opposition.
France have managed to win their World Cup group just twice, but the second time was in Brazil 2014.
France had both scored and conceded at least one goal in five of their last six matches
Australia’s defence does not look too great and in four of their last 5 matches there have been scored more than 2.5 goals
France will be clear favourites to start the tournament with a comfortable victory. Griezmann, Paul Pogba, Thomas Lemar and others will be itching to show Australia how much better they are.
Looking at everything these two sides have done in the past 2 years, it is obvious France are big favourites.
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