Australia vs France World Cup Odds, Pick | Quarterfinals Betting Analysis
Maryam Majd/Getty. Pictured: Sam Kerr.
Australia vs France Odds
In one of the biggest World Cup matchups of the event so far, Australia are looking to make the semifinals for the first time in their home nation.
France, meanwhile, will be looking to play spoiler. They’ve looked quite convincing in their run since a 0-0 draw with Jamaica to begin the tournament.
What makes this match more interesting is that these two teams met in July, which resulted in a 1-0 win for Australia that France seemingly dominated on paper. That result could make for an interesting game as France look for revenge on the home team. Read on for my analysis, as well as pick and prediction for Australia vs France.
The biggest question mark surrounding Australia is how many minutes Sam Kerr will play against France. She came on as a substitute against Denmark after the team went up 2-0 and nearly had a scoring opportunity in her 10 minutes played. If cleared, she could start this next game.
"If Sam is fit to play 90 minutes, she's starting," Australia coach Tony Gustavsson said.
"That's not even a question," he continued. "And the team knows it. We've talked about Sam Kerr, whether she is ready to play 90 minutes plus extra time? That's to be decided tonight. But there's no question whatsoever. If she is [ready], she's starting."
In the meantime, Australia has done well without her. Hayley Raso has three goals in four matches, leading the Matildas in Kerr’s absence. Caitlin Foord has also been stellar, with one goal and a team-leading two assists. Both scored against Denmark, helping Australia to the quarterfinals – which to date has been their best-ever finish in a World Cup.
Interestingly, Denmark narrowly beat out Australia on shots, passes and possession. Australia held possession just 44% of the time and completed 69% of their 393 passes. That’ll be something they’ll want to improve upon as they face off against a French team that can be lethal in not just its attack, but in breaking up opponents’ as well.
Even still, Gustavsson is confident in his team’s abilities and whether or not they’ve recovered enough to go up against France.
"We're extremely fit," Gustavsson said. "We're fit, we're fast, we know that. The schedule the players are playing now is nothing different than what they're doing in terms of their club [teams]. They can bounce back extremely well and don't need a lot of recovery time."
As questions remain around Kerr’s status, France head coach Herve Renard is more focused on preparing for the overall tema attack.
"I know all of the players of Australia, not only [Kerr]," Renard said via interpreter. "Is she going to play tomorrow or not, that's not what worries me. That's the decision of her head coach. They have a very good attack that is working well with some forwards that play very well. But that's also our case. I wouldn't change my strikers for the ones on the other team."
He added later that the French side is “aware of everything” but that he’s confident in his squad. And he has reason to be. This is the same team that beat Morocco 4-0, allowing just one shot – and no shots on goal. They dominated possession in that game, holding it 75% of the time. They tripled Morocco on passes with 650, and an astounding 82% completion rate.
Kadidiatou Diani has also picked up in recent games, scoring a hat trick in the final group stage game and scoring the team’s first against Morocco. She now is tied for second on the Golden Boot list, with Alexandra Popp of Germany and Amanda Ilestedt of Sweden joining her. Other players also tied – or leading in the case of Japan’s Hinata Miyazawa – have been eliminated alongside their teams.
Eugenie Le Sommer sits third with three goals so far in this World Cup, creating a lethal 1-2 punch for France.
Not to mention, Les Bleues will be looking for revenge after a friendly loss last month to Australia, in which they dominated possession 63% of the time and outshot the Matildas 15-4, but still lost 1-0. The 20-year-old Mary Fowler played spoiler in that game, and she’s had her moment to step up for Kerr in big games. Whether or not she’ll be a starter or a sub this game, she’ll still be one France needs to look out for.
Australia vs France
The recent result between these two teams suggest that this is going to be a really close match. Both teams have really found their footing in this World Cup after a back-and-forth group stage. The imminent return of Sam Kerr also makes things interesting, as she’ll more than likely play more minutes than she did last match. And like anytime she steps on the field, she will be a difference maker.
France have been rolling of late, and their convincing win over a good Morocco team might put them ahead if not for the fact that Australia are playing this match in front of a home crowd. Kadidiatou Diani might find the opener, but Australia will rebound – perhaps even with a Sam Kerr goal – to take the win 2-1.