Antoine Griezmann of France

FIFA World Cup preview: France

Euro 2016 runners-up France have been building perfectly for their tilt at this FIFA World Cup.
This is a roster spoiled with choice and in good form, having lost just one of their last 12 matches.
Les Bleus will be looking to replicate the heroics of Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry who last hoisted the Cup for France back in 1998.
There have been some questions marks, though. A 1-1 draw against the United States (who did not qualify for Russia) raised eyebrows.
Throwing away a two-goal lead against Colombia caused further concerns.
But this is a well-drilled, highly skilled France side that deserves to be in the upper tier of favouritism at this World Cup. Genuine contenders.

The draw for France

Australia, June 16
Peru, June 22
Denmark, June 27

The star player

Paul Pogba is the name most associated with France, but the Manchester United midfielder is in bad form at the wrong time.
Antoine Griezmann eclipsed Pogba in Euro 2016 as the nation's most important player and finshed as Les Bleus' top scorer.
He will likely be used in a two-man strike battery up front against Australia in the opening match. Which is not terrific news for the Socceroos.

What needs to go right

On paper, France should breeze through the group stages. But they have drawn two plucky opponents in Peru and Australia.
Peru hasn't lost since 2016 and has rapidly become a lot of football punters' second team. Australia has a new manager, plenty of young talent and a knack for pushing big nations to the brink. France cannot take their eyes off the ball in either of those matches. They loom as real dangers and failing to progress would be disaster for France.

About the Author Josh Alston

Josh Alston is a hack with over 12 years industry experience, covering sport across all codes for newspapers and online agencies. Known to frequent grade matches because of their cheap tinnies. Eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in sitting on the hill when the local cricket side was playing. Softball premiership winner, rugby league legend in Year 10 and no stranger to Doomben Racecourse.

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