World Cup 2022: France v Australia betting picks
France will begin their World Cup title defense with a matchup against intercontinental qualifiers Australia in Qatar.
Les Bleus are dealing with a host of key injuries including the absence of Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema. They have struggled in recent UEFA Nations League play, but still boast a supremely talented squad on paper. Les Bleus have one of the deepest and most talented squads of any nation in Qatar, which is why they are one of the favourites to lift the trophy, but that depth is being tested by injuries to key players N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba and Karim Benzema which means longstanding boss Didier Deschamps needs to shuffle his pack.
Foe Autralia is no Tim Cahill anymore or many household names to call upon for what is expected to be a very challenging World Cup for the Aussies. A fair amount of the squad are home-based or play in Scotland and none play their football in the Premier League either. Mathew Leckie will be tasked with scoring the goals for Australia as he has netted 13 times in 73-caps so far. Though, Maclaren, Mabil and Duke are also regular goalscorers at internaitonal level. Aaron Mooy and Jackson Irvine are a threat from midfield, while Harry Soutter has scored 6 in 10 for Australia from central defence.
The French won the 2018 FIFA World Cup by executing on every level and getting the bounces. The French finished first in their group-stage competition. Then, they defeated Argentina 4-3 in the Round of 16 before dispatching Uruguay 2-0 in the Quarter-finals. France took down Belgium 1-0 in the final four before conquering Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final. Ultimately, the 2022 squad is missing many key elements from the 2018 championship team, but many vital players remain.