Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

As the World Cup finally kicks off, every team in the tournament is eagerly awaiting their first game in Qatar – perhaps the biggest pressure is on France.

The exhausted world champions face Australia in Group D to avoid a major defeat.

Kylian Mbappe will be hoping to start France's World Cup with a bang


Kylian Mbappe will be hoping to start France’s World Cup with a bang1 credit
Australian squad training ahead of World Cup opening


Australian squad training ahead of World Cup opening1 credit

The 2018 World Cup winners will be desperate to defend their titles despite a host of big names waiting on the sidelines for the tournament.

These two teams faced each other in the group stage of the Russia World Cup.

France outstripped the then 2-1 winners as both sides turned penalties and were only separated by an own goal from Aziz Behich.

Here, SunSport takes a look at whether those fortunes will change as they honk the horn again at the 40,000-seat Al Janoub Stadium.

How did they get there?

France: Qualified as the first of the qualifying groups.

They did not lose a single match in this process and left the group behind with a difference of six points and +15 goals.

Australia: The Socceroos were one of the last teams to qualify for the World Cup.

They only confirmed their tickets to Qatar after they beat Saudi Arabia and then Peru in their World Cup play-offs in June.

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what is the format?

France: Les Blues were in erratic form for most of the year, winning only three of their eight matches in 2022 as Didier Deschamps experimented with a new formation.

They lost their last game in the UEFA Nations League 2-0 to Denmark and narrowly avoided being relegated to second place.

Australia: The Australians were one of the last teams to make it to the World Cup, but have enjoyed strong form lately despite a tough start to 2022.

They have won each of their last five games, which includes both World Cup qualifiers and a double friendly match against New Zealand.

Who are the administrators?

France: Didier Deschamps has been in charge of the French team for exactly ten years.

He took over in 2012 and oversaw the creation of a global superpower – just as he was on the French side, where he was a player that won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship.

Under his direction, France made it all the way to the finals of Euro 2016 before winning the 2018 World Cup with a premium.

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Australia: Graham Arnold will give up something in terms of experience against Deschamps as he enters his first World Cup with Australia.

He was appointed to his second post shortly after the 2018 World Cup, and has held the record for Australia’s World Cup reach at every turn since 2006.

In 2019, Australia fell out of the Asian Cup quarter-finals despite being the defending champions.


Who are the star players?

France: KYLIAN MBAPPE will make headlines once again as he plays a far more important role for Didier Deschamps than he played in 2018.

The PSG superstar was France’s top goal scorer alongside Antoine Griezmann in Russia.

And with Karim Benzema out of the squad, the burden of scoring Les Blues goals will once again fall on Mbappe.

The fact that they still have an overflowing roster despite missing a number of big names like Ballon d’Or winner Benzema and midfielder mainstays Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante is truly testament to the quality of the players from France.

How can France rank against Australia?


How can France rank against Australia?

Australia: AARON MOOY will likely be the man tasked with taking Australia to the next level.

The Socceroos have only been able to make it past the World Cup group stage once – 2006 – and the tough group they came in means their prospects of making it again look bleak.

But former Huddersfield midfielder Mooy will be called in to ensure Australia can both defend boldly and attack with creativity.

And his ability to find a place in the midfield and remove the danger will be crucial against a new-looking French midfielder.

How can Australia line up against France?


How can Australia line up against France?

What’s up with you?

France wins: 3

Draw: 1

Australia wins: 1

Which TV channel will show the match?

BBC One will broadcast the match on Tuesday at 19:00.


France 3/10

draw 26/5

Australia 12/1

SunSport forecast

Given the recent fixtures and recent successes between these two sides, this is expected to really go one way.

However, Australia will not be a piece of cake for France, and Mbappe and Co are more than capable of causing a upset if they are not at 100 percent.