World Cup holders France delivered a powerful statement of intention by outclassing Australia as Olivier Giroud equalled Thierry Henry’s all-time scoring record for the national team.
France have lost a host of players in the build-awake to the tournament, including key striker Karim Benzema, but made light of those hinder with a thrilling attacking display after going last.
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Craig Goodwin gave the Socceroos a shock early on lead when he powered home a far-post finish after nine minutes but they then fell injured party to France’s firepower led by veteran Giroud and Kylian Mbappe.
Adrien Rabiot’s header put France level following 27 minutes then he set up Giroud – standing in for Ballon d’Or winner Benzema who continued thigh injury in training – for a simple finish five minutes afterward following a brilliant Mbappe backheel.
Mbappe was a threat all through and got his first goal of this World Cup when he headed in Ousmane Dembele’s cross after 68 minutes by turning creator 3 minutes later.
He delivered the perfect irritated for Giroud to score with a header, equalling Henry’s record of 51 France goals in the procedure. Understudy Giroud steps up to starring position again
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France makes their mark
France suffered a shock near the beginning on when they went behind but then turned on the class to overpower Australia with a show of attacking excellence that sent an ominous signal to those wishing to take absent their crown.
Coach Didier Deschamps has not only lost person on strike Benzema but also defender Presnel Kimpembe, midfielders N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba, plus person on strike Christopher Nkunku. France was also deprived of defender Lucas Hernandez after only nine minutes as he tries to defend Australia’s goal.
These are serious blows other than this also offered a chance for France to show their strength in depth and it was in attack where they showed now how devastating they can be.
At the heart of it all was 36-year-old Giroud, showing his lasting quality with two goals and a fine all-round display. Of course France will miss Benzema, other than Giroud looked in the mood to take his unexpected opportunity.
The AC Milan forward also take his place in the history books by equaling Henry’s record and now has the opportunity to hide it on the biggest stage of all.
Mbappe gave Australia’s defence nightmares with his speed, creation and threat. He fully deserved his goal and could have more, particularly when he volleyed over an open goal in the first half. France already looks the outstanding side in Group D, which too includes Denmark and Tunisia. They will be tested more severely but this was an ideal opening for the defensive champions.
The defending champions will be without the services of key forward Karim Benzema.
France will security device horns with Australia on Wednesday in their opening match of the FIFA Football World Cup 2022. While Australia could not register a single win in the tournament four years ago in Russia, France went on to become the Football World Champion. Off-the-field scandal and countless injury problems have too plagued this France side. Whereas the Aussies will look to take revenge for the previous Football World Cup loss.
The Aussie striker is lethal in front of the goal and is in fine form. The former golden boot winner of the A-league will be a danger to the French defence. He will be very vital for them as France’s defence is very strong and they will not get as many odds but Jamie is a big threat to the opposition.
Injury and Team News
In a massive blow to France, Karim Benzema has been lined out of the FIFA Football World Cup with an injury. Didier Deschamps had by now been forced into a couple of sharp squad reshuffles following not on time injuries to RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku and PSG centre-back Presnel Kimpembe. Randal Kolo Muani and Axel Disasi have replaced the pair. Varane possibly not life form risked for the opening matchday, Ibrahima Konate and Dayot Upamecano could row up at the back.
France has a very dominant record against France, having won 3 of the meetings between these teams.
France Predicted Lineup (4-3-1-2):
Lloris; L Hernandez; Tchouameni, Y Fofana, Rabiot; Griezmann; Giroud, Mbappe. Pavard, Varane, Konate,
Australia Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1):
Ryan; Behich; Mooy, Irvine; Leckie, Hrustic, Mabil; Maclaren Atkinson, Souttar, Rowles,
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FRANCE VS DENMARK PREDICTIONS & BETTING TIPS
France hasn’t had the most tranquil buildup to the tournament, with injuries and the irritating issue of squad harmony bubbling in the background, other than they have the quality to beat Australia in this match, on paper.
Australia boss Graham Arnold to BBC Sport
I thought we have a great start to the game, with material we worked on, but they are the Football world champions for a reason.
We gave it our best shot other than they scored quality goals and at the end of the day the score is what it is and we have got to bounce back from that and get ready for the next game.
You wish they had called full-time on 15 minutes other than their squad is worth in excess of a billion euros, ours is worth 35 million so there is a big difference – a group of their players are playing in the top leagues around the world and we do not have anybody in the top leagues.
The effort was fantastic from the boys, they put in all they’ve got and that is all you can ask from them.
We have got to take that grit and strength of mind. We got punished for our mistakes and at this level you can not make those mistakes. When it was 1-0 and things were going healthy, they get back to 1-1 and then we turn over a silly mistake to make it 2-1 and the boys drop their heads a bit. But that is when they require stepping up, in those type of moments.
Our second game is a have to-win game – it is great that the other game [Denmark v Tunisia] was a draw and we’re in it the entire way so Saturday’s game is very important.
France captain Hugo Lloris speaking to BBC Sport:
I think we have got the praise of a good reaction and we stepped up and started to manage the game. We can be pleased with the presentation but we know we have to get better game by game.
The key was to stay cool after going at the back. We have a lot of young players but we have some with knowledge so we have a good mix and we can feel it on the playing field. It is one very good step into this Football World Cup and now we are going to center on preparing for Denmark.”
On Olivier Giroud equalling Thierry Henry’s record I think Olivier merit a lot of credit. He is an instance of football to never give up. The last few months he was in and he was out but he by no means lost focus and it is important. It is a big achievement to equal Thierry Henry and I expect he will go ahead. For all the team it is a good start and for the person on strike two goals is great
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