World Cup Match 5: France v Australia

The Socceroos quest begins at the Kazan Arena against European heavyweight France. Can the Socceroos bring their recent friendly form with them to the world’s biggest stage…


What’s their current form?
France has played 11 games in the 2017-18 season, 5 of which have been this year, where they started with a 3-2 loss to Colombia before scoring three straight wins against Russia 3-1, Republic of Ireland 2-0 and Italy 3-1 before scoring a 1 all draw last week against the USA.

Australia’s first 6 games of this season saw them still battling for a place in the World Cup after losing 2-0 to Japan. They then had a 2-1 win v Thailand, 1 all draw and a 2-1 win against Syria, 0 all draw and a 3-1 with against Honduras to scrape in. They lost 4-1 to Norway and had a scoreless draw with Colombia in March 2018 before scoring two impressive wins in their World Cup warm ups against Czech Republic 4-0 and Hungary 2-1.

France: Lloris; Mendy, Varane, Rami, Pavard; Kante, Pogba, Tolisso; Mbappe, Lemar, Griezmann.
Australia: Ryan; Risdon, Sainsbury, Milligan, Behich; Luongo, Mooy, Leckie, Kruse, Rogic; Nabbout.

Any interesting facts I should know?
France finished at the top of their Qualifying group with 7 wins, 2 draws and a loss. They conceded a paltry 6 goals while scoring 18. Australia however were the second last side to qualify, having to survive a Fourth Round play-off in the AFC, then defeating Honduras in a play-off to make it into the final.

What should I be betting on?
Australia will be big outsiders here, however they have shown a real knack for performing when they need to. They are a stubborn lot so expect a close scoreline.

Wolf’s Prediction

On paper this is a complete mismatch. The French squad is littered with world class talent. Most of their squad not only pay at the world’s biggest club, but are the focal point of those teams. Pogba is the face of Manchester United and Kante is the engine room at Chelsea while Antoine Griezmann has rivaled Ronaldo and Messi in La Liga for some time now. We haven’t even touched on the attacking brilliance of Mbappe and Dembele along with the temperament and control of Verane at the back. The Socceroos were thrashed 6-0 by France when they last met in 2013 in a match were they were completely outclassed tactically. That was the theme for the Socceroos four years ago in Brazil where they lost all three games. Their defence was breached on three occasions in each match against Chile, Netherlands and Spain. Against a side of relative class, The Wolf is expecting a dominant win by Les Blues. This match will be more about damage control for the Socceroos. If they can lose by two goals or less, that would be a good result. That being said, The Wolf is not buying into their recent friendly wins over the Czechs and Hungary. Both nations failed to qualify for the World Cup and several of the Socceroos goals came via either luck or defensive errors. He cannot see the Socceroos getting the ball to bounce their way in this one.

Recommended Bets

Best: France WIN & Over 2.5 goals ($1.73)
Value: Win Both Halves – France ($2.60)
Other: France Over 3.5 goals ($4.00)


TV channel, kick-off time, betting odds, tips, live stream and team news

What time is kick off? The game starts at 1pm (local time) on June 16. In Australia, kick-off will be at 8pm on June 16th.

What TV Channel is it on and can I live stream it? In Australia, the only network with live broadcast rights is SBS. SBS Radio will also cover games that aren’t broadcast. Optus Sport in Australia will broadcast every game live as well via live streaming, however it will be available to subscribers only.

What’s the team news and who’s injured? Australia come into this game with no injured players. France however do, with Benjamin Mendy (knee), Djibril Sidibe (knee), Kingsley Coman (ankle), Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) and Dimitri Payet (hamstring) all out.

Who’s the referee? Not yet announced.

What happened the last time they played each other? These sides have met on 4 previous occasions, with France winning twice, Australia once and the other game drawn. Their last encounter was in 2013 where France romped home with a massive 6-0 victory.