One of the favourites to lift the Jules Rimet trophy, France, open their World Cup 2018 campaign with a battle against the ever-combative Australia. Will Les Bleus get the victory that is expected of them? Find out with our France vs Australia betting tips.
It has been a long road to redemption for France. Two years after losing in the final of the European Championships on home soil, they have qualified for World Cup 2018 well from a tricky group that also contained Sweden and the Netherlands, and their young side should display the naivety of youth that can really pay dividends on the big stage.
As for Australia, well, qualifying was anything but straightforward. They finished third in their AFC group – behind Saudi Arabia no less, who were trounced in yesterday’s opener – and then needed extra time to see off Syria in the play-off. That is an indictment of their lack of progress in recent times.
So most pundits, and the bookmakers too, are expecting a comfortable French victory in Kazan on Saturday morning. But can the Socceroos provide an almighty upset? Here are our France vs Australia betting tips.
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France vs Australia Betting Tips
Really, all of the signs point towards France doing rather well in Russia. They have big stage pedigree – reaching that final of the Euros in 2016 – and a number of talented young starlets.
Will this World Cup come too soon for them? Perhaps, but their players have plenty of big match experience.
From front to back we find league winners and those who played a full part in the Champions League. Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Lucas Hernandez and Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Corentin Tolisso (Juventus), Kylian Mbappe (PSG) and Blaise Matuidi (Juventus) all won silverware with their club sides in 2017/18, and that comfortability with being the bookies’ favourite and still getting the job done bodes very well.
When we talk about World Cup squads we tend to focus on individuals, rather than a collective effort.
That is wrong, on many levels, but actually a look at France’s probable attack, versus Australia’s likely defence, tells a story:
Antoine Griezmann (Europa League winner and 2nd in La Liga), Olivier Giroud (seven EPL goals in as many games for Arsenal/Chelsea last season), Kylian Mbappe (Ligue 1 winner, 21 goals last season)
Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshopper Zurich), Mark Milligan (Al Ahli, midfielder playing in defence), Aziz Behich (Bursaspor)
As mentioned, only considering the individuals involved is foolhardy when we could focus on the collective strengths. But the above highlights the gulf in class between the two sides.
Socceroos Lacking Bounce
If we analyse Australia’s matches of the past calendar year, we note that they have scored two or more goals in just 5/14.
That highlights how limited they are going forward – food for thought for our France vs Australia predictions – and also that coach Bert van Marwijk considers defence to be the best form of attack.
And you can hardly blame him, with Australia’s most creative player being Aaron Mooy, a deep-lying midfielder who will have plenty on his plate from a defensive perspective.
Van Marwikj has had to turn to Andrew Nabbout, who plays his club football in Japan, to lead his frontline, and it is doubtful that he has the game to really test messrs Varane and Umtiti in the French defence.
The bookies have France as a 2/7 favourite here – too short to get involved. The Aussies are a tough nut to crack, too, so backing France to Win & Under 2.5 Goals at 23/10 (3.30) with William Hill is well worth a try.
What else do we know about these two sides? Well, the Aussies as a rule are a very competitive bunch who love the physical side of things – watch them play any sport and you’ll see that.
Faced with some tricky French players who will pass the ball around in neat triangles, Australia may turn to the ‘dark arts’ in order to disrupt the pattern of this game.
As such, we’re delighted to see ‘Most Booking Points – Australia’ available at a more-than-reasonable 7/10 (1.70) with William Hill.