Why France's omitted XI gives Socceroos half a billion headaches

France's final 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup confirmed two things on Friday (AEST): why they're favourites and just how slim the Socceroos' hopes of progressing really are.

While Bert van Marwijk's 26-man Socceroos squad caused some unrest among the Australian public - mainly concerning the absence of Jamie Maclaren and Bailey Wright - Didier Deschamps was forced to leave a pool of French talent behind worth A$502 million, per transfermarkt.com.

With the likes of Manchester United's Anthony Martial and Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot forced to settle for the standby list, it's no wonder van Marwijk believes Australia's group is "one of the best at the World Cup".

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“They have a very good team and have a big chance of winning the world championship,” van Marwijk said.

“They [France] have very fast and creative players, are physically strong, and they have one of the best players in the world at the moment in [Kylian] Mbappe.

In truth, France's spare parts are enough to cause the Socceroos' strongest XI considerable headaches, but that hasn't deterred van Marwijk's determination for success one bit.

"They have a lot of weapons, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a result against them,” the Dutchman added.

For the current Socceroos crop - valued in excess of a measly A$70 million - to pull off such a daunting task, they will need to stifle a formidable French front-line featuring Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) and Mbappe (PSG).

And should injury strike any of Deschamps' selected troops between now and June 14, there's always a spare Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich) or Martial lying around - it's just not fair.

 

 

The Socceroos last faced France back in 2013; a 6-0 loss that proved the last straw in Holger Osieck's turbulent tenure with the green and gold.

Deschamps had the leisure of resting several first-team troops during that crushing win, and will expect no less from his golden generation in Kazan on June 16.

A heavy defeat would no doubt cause significant damage to the Socceroos' hopes of progressing out of a group that also features Peru and Denmark, and van Marwijk would know this all too well.

France squad for World Cup

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)

Defenders: Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Adil Rami (Marseille), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid)

Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Steven N'zonzi (Sevilla)

Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Thomas Lemar (Monaco)

Standby List

Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Benoit Costil (Bordeaux), Mathieu Debuchy (Saint-Etienne), Lucas Digne (Barcelona), Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain), Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea).

Australia will face France on Saturday June 16 LIVE on SBS from 7pm.




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3 min read
Published 18 May 2018 at 8:25pm
Source: SBS The World Game