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France v Australia betting preview
France are one of the favourites at Russia 2018 based on the amount of talent they have in their squadFrance head to Russia as one of the favourites. The French have a squad packed full of attacking talent, outrageous pace and strength in depth all over the pitch. They just got a drew with non-World Cup participant USA in a friendly match that ended in a 1-1 score. Plus, Les Blues were upset by Colombia (2-3) last March before to beat host nation Russia 3-1. There are also question marks hanging over them due to some dodgy results over the past couple of years – most notably that goalless draws with Belarus and Luxembourg in qualifying. Anyway, Les Blues have only taken the one defeat in their last 10 games, winning six of those 10.
Samuel Umtiti and Djibril Sidibe both missed training on Monday with knee problems and are doubtful. Presnel Kimpembe and Benjamin Pavard are the likely substitutes should they miss out. Up front, Antoine Griezmann is expcted to be flanked by Ousmane Dembelè and Kylian Mbappè, despite the latter was forced out of training with an ankle injury few days ago. Florian Thauvin and Nabil Fekir are further options upfront. In midfield, N'Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, and Blaise Matuidi should form the starting trio.
Australia have been impressive in their last two outingsHaving disappointed in the Asian qualifiers (only finishing third behind Japan and Saudi Arabia) the Aussies had to make do with a playoff against Honduras. Bert van Marwijk's side have failed to get out of the group stages at the last two editions of the World Cup. Last March they suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat at the hands of Norway, and drew 0-0 against Colombia few days later. In early June, they recorded back to back win in the last two pre-World Cup fixtures: 4-0 over Czech Republic and 2-1 against Hungary.
Brighton's Matthew Ryan will be between the sticks for the Socceroos. Other Premier League players expected to feature from the off are Mile Jedina and Aaron Mooy. The duo will start in midfield alongside Matthew Leckie, Massimo Luongo and Andrew Nabbout. Tim Cahill, who could become the fourth player to score in four separate World Cup finals, is expected to be benched with Tomi Juric likely to spearhead the attack in a 4-5-1 formation.
France v Australia Starting Lineups France (4-3-3): Lloris; Pavard, Umtiti, Varane, Hernandez; Matuidi, Kantè, Pogba; Dembelè, Mbappè, Griezmann
Australia (4-5-1): Ryan; Risdon, Milligan, Sainsbury, Behich; Nabbout, Leckie, Jedinak, Mooy, Luongo; Juric
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