Defending Champions France start their journey to defend their title against Australia in Group D. The first-ever use of VAR at aawarded France a penalty which Antoine Griezmann converted en route to a 2-1 victory for the eventual champions. Australia couldn’t muster a single win in Russia and hasn’t claimed a World Cup scalp since 2010. Here’s everything you need to know about the first match in France’s defense of the World Cup.
France team news
Karim Benzema is expected to miss the entire tournament after injuring his thigh muscle after his first training session in Qatar. Presnel Kimpembe of PSG and Christopher Nkunku of RB Leipzig sustained late injuries, forcing Didier Deschamps to make a few significant roster adjustments. Randal Kolo Muani and Axel Disasi have been added in their stead. Marcus Thuram was an additional inclusion that was postponed after Deschamps initially only selected 25 players. The World Cup winner’s youngster was battling a sickness prior to the opening game.
Australia team news
Martin Boyle, a winger for Hibernian, is without a doubt the player who worries Australia’s coach Graham Arnold the most. The Scottish-born attacker has been unable to work out because of a knee issue. If Boyle loses his race against time, the fitness issue is thought to be serious enough for Melbourne City’s Marco Tilio to join the group in Doha as a backup alternative.
France vs Australia score prediction
Due to injuries and the lingering issue of team chemistry, France has not enjoyed the most tranquil approach to the event. However, with the abundance of skill that Les Bleus possess, most XIs Deschamps selects will theoretically outperform Arnold’s Socceroos in terms of quality. Only three of the last 12 World Cup champions have started their title defense with a victory. By the time France’s 2002 opener against Senegal was notoriously lost, Deschamps had already given up playing. Although not impossible, it is improbable that he will find that management scandal.
Prediction: France 2-1 Australia
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