French players celebrate

Overview:

France and Australia are familiar foes at the World Cup having met in the group stage four years ago too, which France won 2-1 thanks to Antoine Griezmann's penalty and an Aziz Behich own goal.

2022 FIFA World Cup (Group D):

  • Tuesday, November 22: France Vs Australia
  • At Al Janoub Stadium, Qatar

The reigning world champions France will face Australia in Tuesday’s World Cup 2022 Group D opener at the Al Janoub Stadium.

Tagged as the “Les Bleus”, France eye a strong opening to their title defence ambitions whilst the Socceroos are aiming to end a run of three successive group-stage exits.

France head coach Didier Deschamps and the rest of the technical docket come to this match with several low moments emanating from the injuries suffered in the recent past.

Karim Benzema was made to withdraw after picking up a thigh issue, having just returned to full training alongside Raphael Varane.

As defending champions, France command a healthy amount of respect – even if their only win from their last six matches was a 2-0 home success against Austria.

Australia manager Graham James Arnold guided the Socceroos to qualification following that tense post-match penalty victory over Peru in the qualifiers.

Australia is playing for the fourth time at the FIFA World Cup finals having suffered three group-stage exits in that period.

Their only won one of their last nine games at the tournament – a 2-1 success over Serbia in 2010.

The Socceroos picked up a pair of friendly wins over New Zealand in September – winning 2-0 and 1-0 versus their Oceanic counterparts.

France and Australia are familiar foes at the World Cup having met in the group stage four years ago too, which France won 2-1 thanks to Antoine Griezmann’s penalty and an Aziz Behich own goal.

Despite of the injuries, France still boasts of a fearful attacking quartet of Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele.

Ibrahima Konate and Dayot Upamecano could line up at the back as skipper Hugo Lloris commands the starting slot in goal.

Australia also had Hibernian striker Martin Boyle nurse a knee problem and was forced to withdraw from the squad, with Marco Tilio taking up his place.

Stoke City defender Harry Souttar has affirmed that he is ready to feature on the opening match day, despite a distinct lack of match practice since his ACL surgery.

In the other group D match on Tuesday, Denmark faces African representatives Tunisia.

Probable Line ups:

France XI: Hugo Lloris (G.K), Pavard, Upamecano, Konate, Lucas Hernandez, Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe, Giroud

Australia XI: Ryan Matthew (G.K, Captain), Atkinson, Wright, Rowles, Behich; Hrustic, Mooy, Irvine, Leckie, Duke, Goodwin

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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