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How to watch France vs Australia

FIFA World Cup: How to watch France vs Australia in the defending champions' Qatar 2022 opener

November 21, 2022 By Ali M.
Les Bleus kick off their title defense on Tuesday, taking on a Socceroos side seeking revenge for a 2-1 defeat they suffered at the hands of Deschamps' side back in 2018.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has kicked off but the reigning champions are yet to take to the field. However, this will come to an end on Tuesday as France prepare to get their campaign underway, taking on Australia in their Qatar 2022 opener.

The pressure is on Les Bleus to deliver, especially given their Russia 2018 campaign. The European giants went all the way to the final four years ago, beating Croatia 4-2 in the ultimate game to clinch their first trophy since 1998, but can they become the first nation to win this trophy in consecutive tournaments since Brazil in 1962?

Unfortunately, injuries have taken their toll on Didier Deschamps' side. Not only were Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante, the two midfield marshals at the heart of their 2018 success, ruled out of Qatar 2022, but the European giants also lost two other crucial players leading up to kick-off.

First Christopher Nkunku picked up an unfortunate injury during a training session, hurting his knee and thus being forced to leave the squad. A while later, things got far worse, as star striker Karim Benzema was subsequently ruled out.

The Real Madrid star suffered a thigh issue and will play no part in France's title defense. Additionally, the two-time world champions are also in poor form, having disappointed in their most recent major international tournament, crashing out in the round of 16 in Euro 2020 while failing to make the UEFA Nations League finals.

The last three champions have all crushed out at the first hurdle, with Italy, Spain, and Germany bowing out in the group stage in 2010, 2014, and 2018. While Deschamps boasts one of the most star-studded squads, France will need to silence their doubters.

Regardless, Australia face a daunting task as the AFC heavyweights will have to overcome the odds in order to avoid defeat in the opener of their fourth consecutive FIFA World Cup campaign.

The Socceroos path to Qatar 2022 was anything but straightforward. Unlike Les Bleus, Graham Arnold's side did not secure automatic qualification and were thus forced to enter the playoffs, facing Peru in the inter-confederation showdown.

The two teams played out a goalless draw throughout the 120 minutes, with Australia winning on penalties to book their ticket to the Middle East. However, the 2015 AFC Asian Cup winners have only made it out of the groups once before.

It should be noted that these two nations faced off in 2018 as well. That fixture ended in a 2-1 defeat for the Socceroos, with Antoine Griezmann getting on the scoresheet, meaning Mat Ryan and Co. are out for revenge.

Team news

France: As mentioned earlier, Nkunku and Benzema have picked up injuries and have been ruled out for this tournament after initially being called up to the squad. Deschamps opted against calling up someone to replace the Real Madrid striker but Axel Disasi and Randal Kolo Muani have come in for the injured Kimpembe and Nkunku. Meanwhile, Varane has been working his way back from injury and should be rested for this game while Camavinga is also a doubt. Upamecano and Konate are expected to start in defense.

Australia: Martin Boyle is suffering a knee injury and was forced to withdraw from the squad, with Marco Tilio replacing him. Harry Souttar is fit and ready to go despite his lack of minutes. Elsewhere, Australia have a fully-fit squad.

Key stats

  • This will be the sixth meeting between these two nations.

  • Australia have won only once in those showdowns with France, with that victory coming in the 2001 Confederations Cup.

  • This will be the seventh consecutive FIFA World Cup appearance for Les Bleus.

  • Kylian Mbappe has 57 goal involvements in 2022 (43 goals and 14 assists).

  • Olivier Giroud is only two goals away from equaling Thierry Henry as France's all-time top scorer (51).

Broadcast listings


Match details, result and original broadcast info

France 4 - 1 Australia

November 22, 2022 2:00pmAl Janoub Stadium (Al Wakrah)

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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