FIFA World Cup 2022 : France vs Australia Match Preview and Lineups

France vs Australia
GAME France vs Australia
DATE 22/11/2022
TIME 09:30 PM (Indian Standard Time)
ARENA Al Janoub Stadium
LEAGUE FIFA World Cup 2022
France [4-1] Australia

Match Preview of France vs Australia

An injury-hit France side begin the defence of their global title when they tackle Australia in Tuesday's World Cup 2022 Group D opener at the Al Janoub Stadium.

Mexico are heading into their eighth consecutive World Cup appearance, having been eliminated at the last 16 stage in each of their last seven entries.

Les Bleus went all the way in Russia four years ago, while the Socceroos are aiming to end a run of three successive group-stage exits.

Since coming up trumps against Croatia on that rain-soaked evening in Moscow, France have added another major trophy to their cabinet in the form of the UEFA Nations League, but the negatives have far outweighed the positives for Didier Deschamps and co.

Having been eliminated from Euro 2020 at the last-16 stage, France are already guaranteed to relinquish their Nations League crown after a dismal period of performance in the 2022-23 edition, which very nearly culminated in an unthinkable relegation to League B.

Off-the-field scandals and countless injury problems have also plagued this France side, who already hold the unwanted honour of being the worst-performing defending champions at a World Cup after going out in the group stage in 2002 without a single win to their name.

However, as defending champions, France command a healthy amount of respect - even if their only win from their last six matches was a 2-0 home success against Austria - but history is certainly not on their side as they aim to become only the third team after Italy and Brazil to win back-to-back World Cups.

Indeed, the three defending champions that have come just before France - Germany, Spain and Italy - have all seen their next runs in the tournament end in the group stage, and not since Brazil in 2006 have the holders won their opening game of the competition.

The art of taking off a goalkeeper and bringing on a penalty-saving specialist is a difficult one to master, but Australia manager Graham Arnold pulled it off in the Socceroos' playoff final versus Peru, with Andrew Redmayne channelling his inner Bruce Grobbelaar in the shootout and helping to send Australia through.

Redmayne's efforts ensured that Australia would be present at the World Cup finals for the fourth time on the bounce, but the Socceroos have suffered three group-stage exits in that period and have only won one of their last nine games at the tournament - a 2-1 success over Serbia in 2010.

A round-of-16 berth in the 2006 tournament represents the Socceroos' best achievement on the biggest global stage so far, and while they flattered to deceive during AFC qualifying, Arnold's men head into their opening match on the back of five successive victories.

The Socceroos picked up a pair of friendly wins over New Zealand in September - winning 2-0 and 1-0 versus their Oceanic counterparts - but not since Tim Cahill's scorcher against the Netherlands in 2014 have Australia scored from open play at the World Cup.

Our Predicted Lineups

France possible starting lineup:Lloris; Pavard, Upamecano, Konate, Lucas Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud

Australia possible starting lineup: starting lineup:Ryan; Atkinson, Wright, Rowles, Behich; Hrustic, Mooy, Irvine; Leckie, Duke, Goodwin

Who will win the match?

We say: France 2-0 Australia. Not a single player from either team scored from open play at the correct end of the field when these two sides met four years ago, and that has been an area of weakness for Australia in World Cup games gone by. The Socceroos can take some encouragement from their winning streak and France's ongoing injury woes, but Les Bleus' lineup is still intimidating to say the least, and we have faith in the defending champions to break the opening matchday curse and start in perfect fashion.

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