Date: 16th June’ 2018
Time: 3:30 pm
France and Australia kick off Group C at Kazan Arena, Kazan local time for the first of four game on the first Saturday of the tournament.
Didier Deschamps’ Les Bleus head to Russia among the favorites to triumph on July 14 but will remember all too well their group stage exits in 2002, as defending champions, and 2010.
Australia reach their fourth World Cup on the trot, fifth in total, and will be hoping to improve upon their return of zero points from three group games.
Head to head
France and Australia have faced each other four times in total, most recently in a friendly in 2013 as Les Blues ran out 6-0 winners for a second of two victories. Australia’s sole win came in the Confederations Cup in 2001. They draw 1-1 five months later in a friendly.
France Team News
Didier Deschamps has had the luxury of choosing from a pool of highly talented names. Once again, the manager has favored discipline over talent and this has led to the absence of Karim Benzema from the 23-man squad. The French squad has a strong mix of youth and experience. Deschamps also has one of the most valuable squads due to the presence of Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe.
France 23-man Squad
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris / Steve Mandanda / Alphonse Areola
Defenders: Lucas Hernandez / Benjamin Mendy / Adil Rami / Presnel Kimpembe / Rafael Varane / Samuel Umtiti / Djibril Sidibe / Benjamin Pavard
Midfielders: N’Golo Kante / Steven N’Zonzi / Paul Pogba / Blaise Matuidi / Corentin Tolisso
Forwards: Olivier Giroud / Antoine Griezmann / Thomas Lemar / Kylian Mbappe / Ousmane Dembele / Nabil Fekir / Florian Thauvin
Australia Team News
After a lot of discussions about Tim Cahill’s presence in the World Cup squad, coach van Marwijk has decided to go with the experienced midfielder. Cahill received very little game-time at Millwall and the 38-year-old may not feature much at the World Cup. Still, his presence gives a huge deal of experience to the Australian setup. Forwards like Jamie MacLaren and Dimitri Petratos have shown an eye for goal in their domestic careers.
Australia 23-man Squad
Goalkeepers: Brad Jones / Mat Ryan / Danny Vukovic
Defenders: Matthew Jurman / Aziz Behich / Milos Degenek / Josh Risdon / Trent Sainsbury / James Meredith
Midfielders: Mile Jedinak / Aaron Mooy / Tim Cahill / Mark Milligan / Tom Rogic / Massimo Luongo / Robbie Kruse / Jackson Irvine
Forwards: Mathew Leckie / Dimitri Petratos / Andrew Nabbout / Jamie MacLaren / Daniel Arzani / Tomi Juric
Final Winner– Match Draw Probability