The symbiotic relationship France and Australia share will do, World Cup betting-wise, the Socceroos little good when they face Les Bleus in their tournament-opening game. This isn’t rugby, after all. Then again, the team from Down Under could benefit from the fact that the French think they’re little more than just another shrimp on the barbie. “L’Équipe’s headline was “Aussies with no head,” French journalist Dtrp said, in reference to the managerless Australians. Aussies with no head? Eh, probably sounded better in the original French. “In terms of the greatest threat to France, L’Équipe also put Denmark first, then Peru, followed by Australia because we don’t know much about the Australia team to be really honest. We only know mainly Tim Cahill’s aptitude for awesome goals in World Cups.”
- 16 June 2018 13:00 MSK (UTC+3)
France vs. Australia
Kazan Arena, Kazan
According to Dtrp, France has a tendency to underestimate opponents, something which came back to bite them in the derriere in 2002 and 2010, on both of which occasions they failed to make it past the group stage (and as defending champions, no less, in 2002). And it’s not just the French press that’s counting their poulets before they hatch and betting the World Cup will be a breeze. France avoided “the stronger teams and get Australia, Peru and Denmark” and “should be able to get at least seven points from this group and cruise into the group stage,” says CBS Sports. All of which is not to say of course that the French don’t have the wherewithal to put their World Cup betting money where their mouth is, which they do, in the form of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Alexandre Lacazette, Anthony Martial, and Ousmane Dembele
French head coach Didier Deschamps has, all things considered, a lot of resources to draw from, even if he does decide to move forward without Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, whose lack of playing time in the English Premier League is threatening his spot in the national team. assistant coach Guy Stephan even hinted at the possibility that Giroud might want to start looking elsewhere. “It’s clear that playing time is not enough, and Didier has had the opportunity to talk to him about it. Olivier has to find a solution in the weeks to come. A loan deal in January? That’s up to him,” Stephan said.
So not only does France have a wealth of players from which their coach can pick and choose, but they actually have a coach. Former Australian manager Ange Postecoglou quit after the Aussies clinched a spot on the World Cup. What, was he an angel, like Michael Landon in Highway to Heaven? Did he say something to the effect of, “my work here is done, you guys don’t need me anymore, now I have to go and help someone else, presumably in a 48-minute period sometime next week”? Football Federation Australia has put together a committee including former Australia players Mark Schwarzer, Mark Bresciano, and Stan Lazaridis and given them a February deadline to appoint a new head coach who can lead them to World Cup betting success.