Preview: FIFA World Cup 2022: France v Australia

France v Australia

Group D 7.00pm kick off

Reigning champions France begin the defence of their crown by taking on Group C rivals Australia at Qatar’s Al Janoub Stadium.

Maybe today’s Messi mishap will blow away any possibility of complacency among the France squad. Ranked 51st in the world, Saudi Arabia pulled off the mother of all upsets overturning a one-goal deficit to defeat strongly-fancied Argentina 2-1.

This a repeat of France’s opening game at the 2018 tournament, when a late own goal gave Les Bleus a 2-1 victory. The French are vying to become the first side to win back-to-back World Cups since Brazil 60 years ago, and can call upon brilliant Paris St-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe but must do without this year’s Ballon d’Or winner, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.

The Socceroos have lost five of their last six World Cup matches but demonstrated their formidable team spirit in a qualifying play-off, booking their place in Qatar courtesy of a thrilling penalty shoot-out win against Peru.

Commentary comes from Jonathan Pearce and Danny Murphy.

FIFA World Cup 2022: France v Australia

Tuesday at 6.30pm on BBC One.

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