France v Australia: Familiar foes for holders
France v Australia betting tips, odds and preview
France and Australia face each other in the opening round of matches for a second successive World Cup on Tuesday.
Les Bleus were made to work hard for a 2-1 victory in Russia four years ago before going on to win the group and ultimately the tournament so they will hope a win here is a good omen.
The Group D match at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah kicks off at 7pm and is live on the BBC.
Hope for Aussies
Group D at Qatar 2022 looks very similar to Group C four years ago, with France, Denmark and Australia meeting once more but with Peru replaced by Tunisia.
France were far from convincing in the group stage four years ago, beating Australia and Peru by one-goal margins before drawing 0-0 with Denmark.
They had to wait until the 58th minute to break the deadlock against Australia thanks to Antoine Griezmann’s penalty which was cancelled out by a Mile Jedinak spot-kick four minutes later.
That was Australia’s only shot on target and they were denied a point in the 80th minute by Aziz Behich’s own goal as Paul Pogba’s lob deflected off the full-back and hit the crossbar before bouncing inches over the goalline.
— French Team ⭐⭐ (@FrenchTeam) June 16, 2018
Didier Deschamps’ men are one of the leading contenders to go all the way again and France winning odds of 2/7 suggest they should get three points on the board but must improve on the form they showed in the Nations League when just one win from six matches almost resulted in relegation from the top tier.
They suffered a huge setback on the eve of the tournament too when Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema was ruled out for the entire World Cup with a thigh injury.
At the back, France only managed one clean sheet and the absence of N’Golo Kante will leave the defence more exposed so a France win and both teams to score here, just as they did in 2018, appeals at 11/5 in the World Cup betting odds.
Opener may be slow burner
France had to be patient before forcing the breakthrough in Russia and the same could apply here, with 11/1 underdogs Australia likely to defend in numbers and look to hit them on the break.
All five of France’s goals during the Nations League were scored in the second half as were five of their seven goals at the European Championship last summer.
Nine of the last 10 goals in matches involving Australia in World Cup qualifying came after the break too so there is plenty of reason to think this game could burst into life in the second half.
"You have the biggest game of your lives ahead of you" 🗣🙌👊
— Socceroos (@Socceroos) November 15, 2022
A draw after 75 minutes, which would also have paid out four years ago, is 16/5 while Coral have a #YourCall offer of 4/1 for France to win or draw, both teams to score in the second half and over 2.5 goals.
Hernandez poses goal threat
For the last of our France v Australia predictions, Theo Hernandez to score first looks worth a small play at 11/1.
The AC Milan left-back is known for his attacking quality and will have plenty of opportunities to get forward against opponents who would be happy with a point.
Hernandez, brother of fellow defender Lucas, already has 20 goals for Milan since joining in 2019 including Serie A’s goal of the season last season.
He is already off the mark for France too despite having only won seven caps and is a decent alternative to the obvious candidates in the goalscorer betting such as Kylian Mbappe (5/2) and Olivier Giroud (3/1).
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All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publication