World Cup Contender France Should Have No Problem With Australia

World Cup Contender France Should Have No Problem With Australia article feature image

Australia vs. France, 6 a.m. ET Saturday, Fox Sports 1

  • France -377
  • Australia +1017
  • Draw +613

Bet To Watch: 

Over 2.5 goals -137 

The exciting thing for France watchers is that early indications are manager Didier Deschamps is going to play an attacking lineup in the team’s opener against Australia. Either Olivier Giroud’s head injury against the U.S. in France’s last warmup will keep him out of the lineup — or Deschamps came to his senses. Either way, the team appears set to keep the traditional striker on the bench in favor of winger Ousmane Dembele alongside Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.

Additionally, Corentin Tolisso appears to have moved ahead of Blaise Matuidi as the presumed starter next to Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante in midfield. Tolisso brings more creative passing than Matuidi and rounds out a lineup that appears full of attack power. These are two positive signs, especially since France had recently shackled their creative players by playing a boring, cross-heavy style.

If France can score early against a weak Australia team, the rout could be on. Australia simply doesn’t have the personnel to slow down France’s fast, dynamic attackers — especially if forced to also chase the game. An early goal from France would move this match quickly into potential blowout territory. Australia’s best hope is to keep the game scoreless for an extended period. That won’t be easy since France doesn’t seem like they’ll simply move the ball out wide and cross it in.

Ultimately, I just can’t see Australia keeping this one close for more than 90 minutes.