The present champions appear assured that they’ll overcome the well-drilled and pragmatic Australian crew.
Who: France vs Australia, Group D
The place: Al Janoub Stadium
When: Tuesday, November 22 at 22:00 AST, 19:00 GMT
FIFA rating: France (4), Australia (38)
Defending champions France are clear favourites to beat Australia on Tuesday regardless of dropping a number of key gamers by damage.
On Saturday, striker and this yr’s Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema needed to withdraw from the event after tearing a muscle in coaching. Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante, each stalwarts of the crew that received the 2018 World Cup, have been unable to journey to Qatar. Christopher Nkunku was compelled to limp out of coaching on Tuesday after being tackled by his personal teammate.
Regardless of these accidents, France’s crew presents a humiliation of riches, with Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann anticipated to guide the cost for Les Bleus in Benzema’s absence. With Pogba and Kante lacking, supervisor Didier Deschamps will doubtless look to Aurelien Tchouameni and Adrien Rabiot to take their place in midfield.
The 2 groups met within the final World Cup, with France narrowly beating Australia 2-1 within the group stage courtesy of an personal objective and a penalty. France will hope for a convincing win this time. However Australia will look to attract inspiration from their 2018 efficiency in opposition to the eventual event winners.
That is the fifth consecutive World Cup look for Australia’s Socceroos. Nevertheless, they’re but to make it out of the group stage since they reached the spherical of 16 in 2006 with their “golden technology”, which included gamers like Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell, and Mark Viduka.
“Australia come into this event with an eclectic group of gamers: a handful have earlier World Cup expertise, however the majority are at their first finals ever, with 9 most just lately representing the under-23s facet on the Tokyo Olympics,” says Samantha Lewis, an Australian soccer author.
Nonetheless, what Australia’s crew lacks in expertise it makes up with youth — and simply probably, the urge for food to problem France.
Lewis describes the Australia squad as “crammed with younger, hungry gamers given their first massive shot on the world stage, which is each thrilling and nerve-wracking in equal measure”.
Graham Arnold, Australia’s supervisor, has change into identified for a realistic fashion of play lately. In opposition to France, he’ll doubtless depend on regulars reminiscent of Celtic midfielder Aaron Mooy and veteran goalkeeper and skipper Mathew Ryan to supply organisation and self-discipline as they face a few of best footballers on the planet.
Australia additionally boast proficient Cadiz winger Awer Mabil of their ranks, in addition to teenager Garang Kuol, who has simply signed with Newcastle United within the Premier League. Ajdin Hrustic, who received the 2022 Europa League and now plies his commerce within the Serie A, seems to have shaken off an damage and can be capable of present a inventive spark in midfield.
Lewis says there’s little expectation in Australia that their crew will overcome Les Bleus. Nevertheless, she admits to some cautious optimism. “France aren’t the power they have been 4 years in the past due to a string of premature accidents and drama inside the camp,” she mentioned. “So, there are some pockets of trustworthy followers (together with me) who reckon they may pinch a objective or two if France takes as lengthy to heat into the event as they’ve up to now.”