France will start its journey to become the first country to win back-to-back World Cups since Brazil (1958, 1962) on Tuesday with a match against Australia. Les Bleus are -350 favorites to get all three points against the Socceroos, but there are some reasons to believe that this match will be more of a grind than those odds imply.
Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on Fox.
France vs. Australia prediction
We knew that there would be a lot of injuries in this tournament, given that it’s taking place in the middle of the club season, but perhaps no team has been hit harder than France. N’golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema, and Christopher Nkunku have all been ruled out of the competition, meaning we’ll see deputies on the back line, in the center of the midfield, and up top.
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France still has enough talent that it could survive even a couple of more injuries to key players. Still, it could take some time for this unit to jell, which won’t be an easy task against a physical, tireless Australian side that will be happy to sit back and park the big yellow bus.
Australia won’t have much firepower to offer itself, so backing the Over 2.5 in this game requires Les Bleus to do almost all of the heavy lifting. And given that it will likely take some time for France to find a rhythm, that makes getting to three goals a pretty tough ask in what could be a pretty ugly match.
Betting on the World Cup?
France vs. Australia pick
France-Australia Under 2.5 (+104, FanDuel)
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