World cup 2018 match today in group C. France vs Australia. In group C we have, FRANCE , DENMARK, AUSTRALIA and PERU. Looks team that have potential to move quarter final is france, or australia. Denmark is also quite power.
MORE than a decade after completing a fairytale return to football’s biggest stage, Australia will unite around the Socceroos once again at a fourth consecutive FIFA World Cup.
A daunting first task pits them against a genuine contender to lift the trophy, with Bert van Marwijk’s men up against a scarily-talented France side in Kazan on Saturday night (8pm kickoff AEST).
Six months after parting with long-term mentor Ange Postecoglou, the Aussies will show off everything they’ve learned under the pragmatic Dutchman — likely sporting an XI vastly different to those of a gruelling qualifying campaign.
Mile Jedinak’s heroics against Honduras ultimately earned their ticket to Russia, but whispers – and recent selection hints – suggest that the skipper might find himself on the bench for the opener.
It shapes as the biggest personnel decision for Van Marwijk, who is expected to field a midfield triad of Tom Rogic, Massimo Luongo and Aaron Mooy at the expense of the bearded enforcer. Meanwhile the striking conundrum, which largely hinges on the fitness of Tomi Juric, has Andrew Nabbout in the frame for the No. 9 role against Les Bleus.
Dider Deschamps’ French side is worth a staggering $1.6bn and headlined by international superstars such as Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Paul Pogba.
While one of the favourites to take out the tournament, their history of slow starts on the biggest stage hands a glimmer of hope to the Socceroos, who have beaten their European rivals just once in four clashes.
That victory came in the pair’s only meeting at a major tournament, as the Aussies humbled the French 1-0 at the Confederations Cup in 2001.
However, the last time these two sides met, the boys in the green and gold were on the wrong end of a 6-0 hiding in 2013 that ultimately ended the reign of Holger Osieck.
WHEN AND WHERE?
The Socceroos will open their 2018 World Cup campaign against France at Kazan Stadium, Kazan on Saturday June 16 from 8pm AEST.
HOW CAN I WATCH IT?
Watch the match live on SBS or Optus Sport.
Or follow all the action with foxsports.com.au’s live blog and comprehensive match centre for all the build-up, plus stay across our Twitter accounts and Facebook page.
Socceroos Predicted XI: Ryan (gk), Risdon, Milligan, Sainsbury (capt), Behich, Mooy, Luongo, Rogic, Leckie, Kruse, Nabbout
Injury Concerns: While striker Tomi Juric has been fully cleared to take part in the World Cup, his troublesome knee injury may have cost him a starting spot.
France Predicted XI: Lloris (gk, capt), Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez, Kante, Tolisso, Pogba, Griezmann, Mbappe, Dembele
Injury Concerns: Kylian Mbappe picked up a knock in training earlier this week after a collision with Adil Rami. But the striker has since calmed fears he would be in doubt, and the consensus is that he should be fit to take his place against the Aussies.
Head to head:
Played 4 – France 2 wins, Australia 1 win, 1 draw
12/11/2013 – France 6-0 Australia in an international friendly at the Parc des Princes
11/11/2001 – Australia 1-1 France in an international friendly at the MCG
1/6/2001 – Australia 1-0 France in the Confederations Cup in Daegu
26/5/1994 – France 1-0 Australia in an international friendly in Kobe
Australia: Trent Sainsbury
While the midfield exploits of Rogic and Mooy, and the goalkeeping heroics of Mat Ryan will be essential to Australia’s hopes – defender Trent Sainsbury has perhaps the loftiest task of any Socceroo.
France’s front three of Griezmann, Mbappe and Dembele is simply jaw dropping, and the centre-back – who could also be skipper depending on Jedinak’s role – will be tasked with keeping them under control and marshalling an under-the-pump back four.
Sainsbury’s leadership, positioning and all-round quality is key if Van Marwijk’s side is any chance of an upset.
France: Antoine Griezmann
While France boast an astonishing amount of talent, their crown jewel is arguably Atletico Madrid striker Griezmann.
He finished third in the Ballon d’Or in 2016, has been named in Champions League and La Liga teams of the season – and boasts 20 international goals in 54 caps for Les Bleus.
Griezmann is lethal in front of goal, and is backed as equal second favourite to finish the World Cup as the tournament’s top goal scorer – alongside with Lionel Messi.
Clinical in front of goal, and an all-round handful for defenders, Griezmann will be ready to run riot in Kazan.
THE TALKING POINTS
Return of the Jedi:
Will the Socceroos skipper start against the French? The preferred partnership of Massimo Luongo and Aaron Mooy in midfield has held Jedinak to a place on the bench on warm-up matches. That being said, the bearded general would likely be the first player called upon off the bench if things go pear-shaped.
Where will the goals come from?
While Andrew Nabbout isn’t a natural striker, he has looked effective in the No. 9 role. Tomi Juric’s injury may move him down the pecking order, while Hibs forward Jamie Maclaren’s late call-up may serve as the Socceroos’ saviour at some stage.
Will Timmy get the chance for history?
Tim Cahill will have the opportunity to make history by scoring in his record fourth successive tournament. Only three players have ever done it and only Cristiano Ronaldo joins him in this quest in Russia. A huge feat for the Socceroos legend.
Can the Aussies possibly contain the French?
It’s a big ask. But this is the World Cup, and anything can happen.
WHY THE SOCCEROOS WILL WIN
Even a draw will go down as a win but sheer belief and a bit of luck may carry the Socceroos over the line.
France also have a history of slow starts, and with the added pressure on them to perform, they could crumble.
Most importantly, France’s formidable frontline must be stopped – that means the likes of Sainsbury and Ryan will have to be at their best.
WHY FRANCE WILL WIN
Quality — and a lot of it. From goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to the substitutes bench — and even those who missed out on the squad — the French have amazing depth. The fact they were able to leave Anthony Martial, Alexandre Lacazette, Dimitri Payet, Adrien Rabiot and Karim Benzema speaks volumes.
On paper, their attacking firepower should comfortably take them past the Socceroos.